Canada beef seminars draw high level of interest in Asia

CANADA - A series of seminars held by the Canada Beef Export Federation in key Asian markets in October has reaffirmed the high interest in Canadian beef in those markets – and the growing demand.
calendar icon 27 October 2006
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Federation Chairman Arno Doerksen and President Ted Haney participated in the ‘Demand Building’ seminars held October 17th to 19th in Shanghai in Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, Japan. The seminars are designed to communicate the Canadian industry’s food safety measures, considered to be among the best in the world, as well as the results of a recently-completed independent market survey which confirmed that Canada’s beef grading system for high quality beef delivers the exact
attributes in demand in the Asian markets.

“Our message about Canadian beef is one of an industry well resourced to supply the international beef export market,” says Arno Doerksen. “We have the cattle supply, the processing capacity, the animal health and food safety measures – and we have the high quality beef attributes that are most in demand in our key markets.

“The seminars were very well received with an excellent turn out in each of these major centres,” he says. “Interest in the Canadian beef message was keen from all sectors. It is the confidence of our international clients in Canadian beef that is facilitating our steady return to the marketplace, and we have again seen that confidence expressed.”

Further Federation seminars are being held in Mexico, Taiwan, and South Korea.

Shanghai Seminar – A Shared Vision of Future Success
October 17 – Pudong Shangri-La Hotel, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

While access has yet to be regained in Mainland China for Canadian beef, the Federation’s Shanghai seminar drew more than 100 participants including established and future potential Canadian beef clients. The seminar theme of ‘Joint Efforts and Shared Results’ reflected the historical partnership of the Canadian industry with its
Mainland China clients – and their shared vision of future success with the return of Canadian beef to that market. Along with presentations by the Federation Chairman and President, Export Members Cargill Foods and Lakeside (Tyson) spoke to the gathering about the strengths of the Canadian industry and their corporate commitment to future trade success in Mainland China. A strong message of support for the Canadian industry was also presented by the Canadian Consulate in Shanghai.

Standing Room Only at Hong Kong Seminar
October 18 – Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong It was standing room only at the Federation’s Hong Kong seminar with 270 invited guests from the Canadian beef distribution channels in Hong Kong participating – and close to 300 guests attending the reception following the seminar.

“Canadian beef was featured in a variety of culinary dishes at the reception,” says Lydia Chan, Federation Director of the Hong Kong Office. “One of the most popular dishes was the simple and traditional roast beef, which delivered the taste of premium Canadian grain-fed beef directly to the palate, receiving much praise.”

The seminar theme of ‘Build - Demand - Growth’ aptly recognized the joint achievements of the Federation and local Canadian beef clients in re-establishing and building demand for Canadian beef in the Hong Kong market. In 2005, over 20,000 tonnes of Canadian beef ($76 million) were shipped to Hong Kong and Macau. As well as presentations by Federation Chairman Arno Doerksen and President Ted Haney, several Federation Export Members participating in the seminar presented their business credentials and capabilities to the gathering, including Cargill Foods, Lakeside (Tyson), Cypress Bay Ventures and XL Foods. Again, supportive comments were given by the Canadian Consulate General in Hong Kong.

“Our teamwork in the Hong Kong market is delivering results,” says Chan. “Typical of the feedback are the remarks of a regional businessman who said that the gathering of the meat industry and meat associations in such a warm and big-family way has been missing for years – and that CBEF is bringing the team atmosphere back to the business community.”

Japan Seminar Draws Record Attendance
October 19 – Imperial Hotel, Tokyo, Japan

Over 260 key meat industry executives turned out to hear the Federation’s seminar message in Tokyo, Japan. Presentations were also made by Federation member companies Cargill Foods, Lakeside (Tyson), Ecolait Ltee. and Rancher’s Beef about their capabilities to meet the needs of the Japan market for Canadian beef. The Canadian Embassy in Japan also supported the Federation seminar by presenting the Government of Canada’s view on future opportunities of growth and development for the beef trade in Japan.

Special seminar guest Miss Yumiko Fujimaki talked about her experience of living and working on a Canadian cattle ranch for three years. “Miss Fjuimaki really brought home to us the hard work and pride of Canadian cattle ranchers in taking care of their cattle,” says Thomoshige Sakamoto, Federation Director of the Japan Office. “Her experiences for instance with calves and the diligence and care taken with the Canadian cattle identification system and age-verification were in real terms of actually being there. She also touched our hearts in speaking about her ‘Canadian family’ and ranch home in Canada.”

Close to 300 people attended the reception following the seminar, taking advantage of the opportunity to engage in business discussions and sample Canadian beef dishes. “From conversations at the reception, it is obvious that it is not food safety issues which are of concern to Japanese importers and distributors but the availability of supply of Canadian beef to meet customer demand.

“That demand was evident at the reception,” he says. “As our Chairman said in his closing remarks, when he went back to the buffet for a little more, all the platters featuring Canadian beef were empty.” News Desk

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