In May 2009, the U.S. pork industry had just begun to deal with the trade repercussions of A-H1N1 influenza. One of the greatest areas of concern was Mexico, where misinformation about the disease was fairly widespread and was placing consumer demand for pork in serious jeopardy.
But the pork industry worked closely with trade and public health officials to educate consumers about A-H1N1 and address any unfounded concerns that associated the disease with pork consumption. As a result of these efforts, any decline in Mexico’s demand for U.S. pork was very temporary. In fact, U.S. pork exports recovered by mid-summer and went on to set an all-time annual record in Mexico.
This strong momentum has continued in 2010, with pork/pork variety meat exports up another 7 percent in volume (to 324 million pounds) and 26 percent in value (to $258 million) in the first quarter of the year. Muscle cut export growth (primarily hams) has been even more impressive – up 24 percent in volume (to more than 221 million pounds) and 45 percent in value (to $195 million) over the record pace of 2009.
In this audio report, Chad Russell, U.S. Meat Export Federation regional director for Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic, reflects on last year’s A-H1N1 situation and the successful marketing efforts that have lifted U.S. pork demand in Mexico to record levels.
Audio Link: Chad Russell on Pork Exports to Mexico
Posted by Kaci Switzer