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Beef Buzz News


USMEF Still Combatting Covid in Today's Global Market, Says Dan Halstrom

Fri, 15 Apr 2022 12:29:35 CDT

USMEF Still Combatting Covid in Today's Global Market, Says Dan Halstrom While most of the restrictions surrounding Covid are now behind us in the United States, that is not necessarily the case in some of our key international markets for U.S. Beef, says Dan Halstrom, President and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“Well, we are still very much affected in Asia in particular,” Halstrom said. “Japan and Korea, two of our larger markets, recently have come off their more strict lockdown, so we are starting to see food service get back to some new normal.”

While Halstrom said international food service is not normal by any means, it is on its way back to normal. Halstrom adds that this will take a while because this has all just recently happened in the last 30 days.

“The bad news lies around China and Hong Kong,” Halstrom said. “China and Hong Kong are in a zero-Covid policy and literally the mainland of China is locked down. Businesses are closed and ports are open, but at reduced value.” Halstrom said a week ago, the city of Shanghai went through the testing of all 25 million residents over the course of 8 or 9 days. “Of course if you get a few positives, then specific areas of Shanghai are locked down,” Halstrom said. “We have staff over there that are locked down in their apartment complexes and can’t leave.”

Halstrom said business is not operating anywhere close to normal. It is really an unfortunate situation, he added, because undoubtedly this sort of thing affects demand in a crazy way.

Halstrom says they have had to get creative with finding ways to reach out to test the consumer, especially with food service largely on the sidelines.

“Food service is getting hammered as you can imagine; That is nothing new,” Halstrom said. “But on the other hand, the online platforms- the delivery platforms- are just bursting at the seams with demand because people want to order online and bring their foodstuffs into their apartments.”

We are getting pretty good as an industry, Halstrom said, and as a country here in the U.S. at adapting. I think the industry supply chain is adapting as quickly as it can, he added.

“It will be nice when we can get that behind us, whenever that is, because it is very disruptive to say the least,” Halstrom said.

Halstrom also said they have had to get creative when it comes to retail, offering customers a taste of U.S. beef samples outside the store, instead of inside. “One of the ideas we came up with together was creating these- we call them beef trucks, or pork trucks, depending on the species,” Halstrom said. We park the truck somewhere close to the main entrance, Halstrom said, and people come out and do their tasting demo outside the store.

Halstrom said in places like Mexico, where they are allowed to have tasting demos inside the stores again, they are still doing them outside because it works so well.

“I think it is another tool we can use even without the motive to combat the Covid policies,” Halstrom said.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Dan Halstrom on combating Covid in today’s global market.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today’s show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

   


   

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dan Halstrom
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