I am finally getting over my jet lag and have had some time to sit down and reflect on the mission to Japan with Nebraska Corn Board and the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). I helped organize this trip as a trade mission to help promote Nebraska corn-fed beef and a way for the Nebraska farmers that organized the Japan Relief Grain Donation Program through the Red Cross to see how their efforts were utilized in Japan.
First, Japan is a great importer of beef and pork – especially from the states. The USMEF has an office in Tokyo and does an excellent job of marketing U.S. red meat and creating demand in a competitive market for the lean protein source from the U.S. They have created the “We Care” campaign for U.S. beef after the 2003 BSE scare to help consumers know that beef from the states is safe and U.S. farmers and ranchers care about the beef they produce to send to Japan.
We arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday afternoon (pretty much skipped a day with travel and time-change). We had time to drop by the Tokyo Tower before dinner. This is a great landmark and allows you to see the expanse of the second-largest city in the world.
Our team then went to The Prince Hotel in Tokyo to observe a U.S. beef and pork promotion. The Prince Hotel is a high-end hotel chain in Japan, and USMEF has worked with it to serve all of its red meat dishes of U.S. red meat.
The team had the chance to try U.S. beef tongue, short ribs and steak, as well as U.S. pork tenderloin and sausage prepared by USMEF Japan office staff at the in-table BBQ grill.
You can view more pictures on the NCB online photo album here.