Audio: U.S. Beef Makes Exciting Debut in Dakar
John Brook, USMEF regional director for Europe, Russia and the Middle East, explains that the goal of the tasting event and menu promotion is to trigger lasting business opportunities for U.S. exporters interested in serving the West Africa region. He adds that while the economies and income levels in West Africa do not generally accommodate widespread marketing of U.S. beef, promotional efforts targeting high-end hotels and restaurants in major metropolitan areas could pay significant dividends. The potential quantity of U.S. beef that will be purchased in these markets is fairly limited, but could represent profitable ventures for some suppliers because of the high-end sector being served.
While South Africa is currently closed to U.S. beef due to lingering BSE restrictions, most African nations are at least partially open. The level of market access varies, however, based on product restrictions and duty rates.
JOE SCHUELE: This is Joe Schuele with the U.S. Meat Export Federation report. John Brook is USMEF’s regional director for Europe, Russia, and the Middle East, but he’s in West Africa this week for a unique and ground-breaking opportunity for U.S. beef.
JOHN BROOK: USMEF and FAS in Dakar, Senegal, are having the first ever U.S. beef promotion in West Africa at the Radisson Blue Hotel in Dakar. The product has been flown in from the United States and all has been set up to welcome the guests from the other five-star hotels and white tablecloth restaurants in Dakar, who are all getting very excited about this opportunity to taste U.S. beef. We hope that this might be something which could start off a lasting interest and business for U.S. exporters to Senegal.
JOE SCHUELE: Brook says the economies and income levels in West Africa do not generally accommodate widespread marketing of U.S. beef, but promotional efforts targeting high-end hotels and restaurants in major metropolitan areas could pay significant dividends.
JOHN BROOK: There is a market in most West African countries and capitals amongst the five-star hotels and the upper restaurants for quality product, but potential quantity is fairly limited. It is really going to remain with the hotels and just a few top restaurants but the reputation of U.S. product is such that if we can get to a hold in a place like Dakar then we could hope that the word would spread amongst the chefs, through the hotels in West Africa and then further south where already in Angola, there is already strong business in commodity products from the United States and then on in South Africa where there is much higher purchasing power amongst a much larger portion of the population.
JOE SCHUELE: For more on this and other trade issues, please visit USMEF.org.