A group of young leaders in the hog industry will travel to Columbia to learn about the country’s production and pork needs
By Kate Ayers
This week, a team of American hog industry leaders are visiting Columbia to learn about this fast-growing market for U.S. pork products.
The group will have the opportunity to see the distribution of imported and domestic pork through retail, food service and processing channels in Columbia’s capital of Bogota, a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) release said last week.
“These folks are up and coming leaders in the pork industry and we want to give them a good general knowledge of what is going on in the market,” Don Mason, the USMEF project specialist in Columbia, said in an organization audio clip on Nov. 5.
The trip to Columbia is part of the educational curriculum organized by the Pork Leadership Institute, the release said.
The delegates will be in Columbia from Nov. 13 to 16. On the first day, speakers will brief the group on the country’s legislative and regulatory environments as well as free-trade agreement details, Mason said.
“On the second day, we are going to move to a review of about four different models of distribution for pork in Columbia,” he added.
Indeed, Columbia may provide American pork producers with excellent export opportunities.
“Columbia has a large meat industry … and its production of pork has been increasing fairly steadily over the last few years, but the consumption of pork has been increasing more rapidly,” Mason said.
“Right now, there is a fairly large gap between what they can produce and what they are consuming. So, from an export standpoint, it’s great news for us because we can fill that gap.”
In September, Columbia imported 65,237 metric tons of American pork products, which is up 41 per cent from a year ago, the release said. These exports are valued at US$148.2 million. Columbia is the sixth-largest volume destination for U.S. pork this year and the seventh largest in value.
The 18 participants on this trip are from 14 states including, Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Utah.
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