Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is visiting with the vice president of economic analysis at the United States Meat Export Federation, Erin Borror, about the relationship between U.S. beef exports and food security.
“It takes natural resources to produce red meat, especially on the beef side,” Borror said. “Many of the growing populations in the world and certainly our heavy importing populations, you know, they live in countries where they don’t have the natural resources that we have. So, to be able to sustain, let alone grow, that red meat consumption in so much of the world requires trade.”
Beef exports not only ensure food security around the globe, Borror said, but also allow the U.S. to maximize the value of each animal produced, therefore growing production. Successful trade also requires a system based on rules and science, she added.
In some countries where hunger is an issue, Borror said solutions could be found in increasing access to meat imports and improving food security policies. For example, Borror said that while many associate Africa with having hunger issues due to low funds, the U.S. offers variety cuts that could be extremely affordable for Africa.
“We know we have these variety meat products that we can export in there competitively if we have access,” Borror said.
Many countries have barriers in place that limit access to quality protein, Borror said, and it will take some time to break those barriers down.
As beef supplies will be tighter this year, Borror also talked about how the U.S. plans to meet the needs of the countries that want U.S. beef.
“Our staff around the world are focused on educating on using alternative cuts, but in my mind, it is really focused on more of how to profitably use U.S. beef,” Borror said. “So, really focused on the value that we bring. Not the price, but the value that you are getting.”
Borror said the quality of U.S. beef stands in a world of its own.
“We do have competitors out there, but it is pretty difficult to replace grain-fed U.S. beef on our scale, at the quality we provide at that level,” Borror said.
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