NDA Director Ibach hosts Nebraska beef promotions in Europe

Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach is in Europe working to promote Nebraska beef products in Germany, Belgium and England.

“We recognize that foreign markets place a high value on Nebraska beef products, and the European marketplace is one in which we see a tremendous opportunity for continued growth,” said Ibach.

Ibach met with a current importer, along with several prospective customers of Nebraska beef products in Düsseldorf. According to Ibach, Germany is one of the largest importers of Nebraska beef in the European Union (EU), having gone from importing $10.7 million worth of beef products in 2011 to $25.1 million worth of beef products in 2013.

On the second leg of his trip, Ibach traveled to Brussels to meet with United States Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service Mission to the EU Minister-Counselor Maurice House. Ibach also met with several high-ranking EU officials, including European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV) Secretary General Jean-Luc Meriaux.

“During my time in Brussels, I hope to have insightful discussion with both U.S. and EU officials about agricultural policy, including an update from them on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade agreement and how that agreement may affect trade with Nebraska,” said Ibach before he left.

The next stop was Berlin, where Ibach was joined by Nebraska beef producer Terry Vinton and Executive Director of the Nebraska Beef Council Ann Marie Bosshamer. They met with U.S. Embassy representatives and hosted a special beef tasting promotion, where prospective importers learned more about how U.S. beef is raised and how to purchase U.S. beef products.

For the final leg of the trip, Ibach traveled to London. There he was joined by Jeff Rudolph, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, and Dawn Caldwell, a member of the Nebraska Beef Council. While there they met with a number of different restaurants and distributors that sell Nebraska beef products. The group also hosted the Nebraska Beef Symposium at the Goodman Restaurant. During the symposium, Dr. Chris Calkins from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shared with restaurant chefs the value and impact Nebraska beef can have on their businesses.

“I am proud to join Director Ibach in London and represent the Nebraska Cattlemen as we promote Nebraska sourced beef to the EU market. The association has members that raise and feed cattle qualifying for the UK/EU market and benefit from these value added markets,” said Rudolph.

The market for Nebraska beef in the EU has grown over the past five years. In 2008, $32.8 million worth of fresh and frozen beef from Nebraska was going into the EU market. In 2013, that figure grew to $132.6 million.

Partial funding for this trip comes from the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

–Nebraska Dept. of Agriculture