Pork Board president and Terry O’Neel, of Friend, says there’s opportunity in both countries and he notes, the Japanese prefer chilled pork.
O’Neel says, “We have a marketing campaign going on over there through the U.S. Meat Export Federation called ‘Gochipo’ which means ‘Sumptuous Pork’ and it’s been a very successful campaign.”
While in Japan, the delegates met in Tokyo with 800 meat buyers. O’Neel also says even though China produces a lot of its own pork, it’s still a lucrative market for U.S. pork, mostly variety meats.
“They don’t import a large percentage of production,” O’Neel says. “They’re nearly 97 or 98% self-sufficient with pork, but if you have 1.4-million people who eat 90 pounds of pork a year, then you’ve got an opportunity, especially with the growing middle class in China.”
O’Neel says the key to being successful in selling pork to Japan and China is nurturing friendships.
“If they don’t know you and don’t trust you, they’re not going to buy from you,” O’Neel says. “It’s a combination of safe, quality, dependable product and building those relationships over the years.”
He says it’s also important to have a high-quality product that’s presented well to the buyer.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton