The Greater Omaha Packing Company shipped beef to China last week, immediately after the U.S. and China reached agreement.
Nebraska Agriculture Director Greg Ibach says smart marketing will position Nebraska to profit nicely.
“So, by telling our story, by helping consumers understand and distributors and importers understand the product that they’re getting from Nebraska, how it was produced and by who, we’re able to increase and drive sales of Nebraska products,” according to Ibach.
Ibach says China presents “an amazing opportunity” for Nebraska producers. The Chinese market has grown from a $139 million market in 2010 to more than $2.5 billion in 2015.
Ibach says all the energy previously had gone into getting China to re-open its markets, after closing them to American beef after the discovery of a single case of Mad Cow disease in Washington state in 2003. He says now that energy has shifted to marketing American beef and Nebraska beef in particular to China consumers.
USDA officials reached agreement with Chinese officials last week on final details of a protocol to allow the U.S. to begin the beef exports to China.
According to the USDA, the United States is the world’s largest beef producer and was the world’s fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016. Until the ban took effect, the U.S. was China’s largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70% of the country’s total intake.
Ken Anderson, Brownfield Ag News, contributed to this report.
AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:45]