Interesting article concerning Japan's lifting of beef ban

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farmwife

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This info could change our marketing strategy and our recordkeeping. There's also a thread on the feedyard board with more informaiton.


Industry reacts with cautious optimism to Japan beef deal

by Pete Hisey on 7/28/2006 for Meatingplace.com

It may take years to regain the market share the U.S. enjoyed in Japan in 2003, when $1.4 billion in U.S. beef was shipped to Japan, but the American beef industry is still grateful to get the market open again, if on a limited basis.

J. Patrick Boyle, chief executive of the American Meat Institute, called the agreement announced Thursday "a good first step, but it's a very restrictive reopening. It is restricted to cattle under 20 months of age, and there's absolutely no scientific basis for that restriction."

Boyle pointed out that although the majority of cattle slaughtered in the United States are between 18 and 22 months of age, "the vast majority have no birth records to provide proof of their age, so we will be extremely limited in the amount of beef we can export, at least for now."

Since birth records and a rating of A-40 in the tenderness scale as determined by visual observation of the carcass by trained graders of meat are the only two methods acceptable to Japan for ascertaining age accurately, only 30 percent to 35 percent of U.S. cattle are even eligible for export, Boyle says. About 10 percent to 15 percent of cattle receive a grade of A-40 or better.

A marketing challenge

Further consultations are scheduled for this fall, during which the United States will press to allow beef from cattle up to 30 months in age into the export program, but Boyle said that it will be a long process to expand the program.

Philip M. Seng, chief executive of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, said that "our beef is now one of the most scrutinized foods ever to be imported into Japan. We look forward to winning back the confidence of the many Japanese companies and individuals who have both relied on and enjoyed our products for nearly three decades."

Regaining market share may be difficult, and USMEF has a full promotional program in place, including demonstrations, seminars, in-store promotions and a full publicity campaign based on a bright red "We Care" logo and a "We Care Promise" program for retailers and foodservice operators.

"This is going to be a marketing opportunity, and I am sure our meat industry can meet the challenge," said AMI's Boyle.

No veal for now

None of the 35 plants that applied for export clearance plan to export veal, and there will be a six-month moratorium on approval of new exporters, so there won't be a repeat of the veal shipment that cut off the Japanese market less than a month after it had reopened last December.

Japan has not promised in writing that its market will not snap shut at the first technical violation of the trade agreement, but according to AMI's Boyle, "U.S. negotiators have assured us that the Japanese authorities have promised that there will be a proportionate response to any violation. I would hope that means that the affected product would be discarded, and that repeated violations from a single plant would mean that action would be taken against that plant," not the entire export industry.

Exporters will have a chance to hit the ground running, as the estimated one million metric tons of beef that was stranded at customs in Japan when the market closed in January will not be allowed into the country for three months after the border reopens, according to USMEF spokesman Lynn Heinze. That meat, which has been frozen for several months, will be reinspected by Japanese authorities before it is cleared for import, but should still be of high enough quality for sale.
 
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farmwife

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dun":2wdthueh said:
The age verification is a none issue for those that have had their heads out of the sand for any period of time

http://outreach.missouri.edu/nwregion/A ... -11-05.htm

Not trying to get anybody worked up over this, just trying to help those producers that are unaware of this issue. If you will notice the new requirements are under 20 months instead of the 21 months that your article quotes. You article is from 12/05 which is when the first ban lift came and lasted less than a month. The info that I have posted came our yesterday concerning the new ban lift.

Before we start depending on our state or other entities to help us -- and charge us for helping us -- we better have a clear understanding of the requirements ourselves.
 

dun

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It was a forinstance of what's being or has been started. We're QSA certified, took about 30 minutes of my time. I know that the current standards are for 20 months. When we sold our calves earlier this year we got an extra couple of bucks per head because they were age an source verified. The feedlots did the tagging for those so there wasn;t any additional expense for us.
 

dun

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This is more recent, june of 2006

AGE AND SOURCE VERIFICATION
As demand from buyers (both feedlot and backgrounders) in purchasing QSA age and source verified cattle increases there is a growing interest among producers in having their calves qualify under a QSA program to meet that demand.
As a producer you can enroll your cattle in one of the Approved Programs or as an independent producer under the Missouri Department of Agriculture’s umbrella QSA program. Producers must agree to an on-site evaluation by a trained supplier evaluator who will review the producer’s records to verify that they have the appropriate documentation to prove the age and source of their cattle. Once approved, the producer will be placed on the program’s supplier list. Producers can continue to sell cattle as they have in the past. No restrictions to selling cattle through certain locations or certain times exist. Once the cattle are tagged and remain tagged, they are source and age verified.
This program (QSA) is a voluntary marketing program. As this program has specific requirements that must be met to participate, the information needed is more detailed than some producers have or are willing to share. Not everyone who is interested in participating will qualify as you must have production records that show calving date and some record, such as sales receipts from a previous year, that document that you have the number of cows that you say you do.
As I said earlier the program does require an on farm visit from a supply evaluator. These visits take a couple of hours for each operation depending on what records are that a producer has kept are like.
If you are interested I would encourage you to have the on farm portion of the program done this summer. This will allow you to be sure you are approved and everything is in place for you to be
able to participate in this program prior to the busy time during the fall.
 
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farmwife

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Note, too that there is a tenderness issue in addition to the age verification in order for beef to be shipped to Japan.
 

dj

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This is what we have to overcome.
Stolen fron the Japan Times 7-27-06.
_____________________________________________________
Restaurant and supermarket chains were split Thursday on whether to offer U.S. beef to customers after the government decided to lift its ban on U.S. beef.

Yoshinoya D&C Co., operator of the popular "gyudon" beef bowl chain, welcomed the decision and asked customers to wait for a couple of months for their favorite dishes to return.

Yoshinoya spokeswoman Yukiko Abe said initial supplies are likely to be limited.

In contrast, many supermarket chains said they have no plans to sell U.S. beef for the time being.

"We do not plan to sell U.S. beef when customers at our stores are still feeling uneasy," said Mayumi Ito, spokeswoman for supermarket chain Ito-Yokado Co.
 

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