Silver lining to tight beef supplies: Demand for underutilized cuts

Source: Farm Progress. The original article is posted here.

Silver lining to tight beef supplies: Demand for underutilized cuts
Lower beef production and tighter beef supplies represent a challenge for U.S. exporters, but U.S. Meat Export Federation President and CEO Dan Halstrom explains that with support from USDA and the Beef Checkoff Program, USMEF is finding new opportunities for underutilized cuts in a wide range of international markets. These efforts, along with marketing of beef variety meats, help maximize the value of every animal.

"The performance on beef was, I think, a pretty good sign because we all know production's down and will remain down for the foreseeable future. But this is really an opportunity for the industry, and for USMEF in particular, to work on maximizing the value of that carcass and really focusing in on some of the sub primals that might be underperforming," Halstrom says.

"And and we've had quite a bit of success on the different cuts within the round, primal: knuckles, insides, etc. outside round, flats. A lot of success there, in places like Taiwan, Korea - even in Mexico and Central America we've seen some success on some of these cuts, shoulder clods - another area of the carcass. And of course you can't forget variety meats. Variety, meats continue to be a very important part of the growth. We've got markets like Mexico showing growth, you had the Middle East and Korea and South America as well, and even the Caribbean. So our overall goal is to diversify into as many markets as possible. And in the case of variety meats, it's really a testament to the fact that it is working."

Halstrom adds that expanded opportunities for underutilized cuts will endure even as U.S. beef production rebounds in the future.

"I think this is the silver lining," Halstrom says. "With production down significantly last year and again this year, it gives us an opportunity to really focus in and maximize the value of that carcass outside of the normal mix that a lot of these countries may buy."

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