New Orleans, frozen in May? No, I actually toured a port wharf in New Orleans that ships out frozen beef and pork. This tour was part of the U.S. Meat Export Federation Board of Directors meeting held in New Orleans this past week.
The tour showed us the different areas along the river where barges and vessels come through to unload and reload containers and bulk supplies from all around the world. This specific facility was going to start operating the near future so it didn’t have any meat stored in it yet – but it was still cold in there! 32 degrees. But they were waiting for it to get down to –15 degrees before they could flash-freeze meat.
The facility really was massive. But when 96% of the world’s population lives outside of the U.S. and the demand for U.S. meat is high, we’ve got to fill that need and supply them with high-quality U.S. meat.
It’s amazing what all we can do from here in the U.S. to help support the world market and fill the demand for U.S. red meat. But we still have challenges ahead with foreign policy, consumer preferences, and concerns for BSE and UTM (under thirty months) of age. But USMEF and it’s staff all over the world is doing a remarkable job educating and opening up export markets for U.S. red meat.