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Audio: USMEF to Unveil West Africa Initiative

Published: Jan 20, 2015
00:00 / 00:00

You may download the audio file here

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) will unveil its West Africa Project on Monday, Jan. 26, in Atlanta. Dan Halstrom, USMEF senior vice president for global marketing, provides more details on the project in the attached audio report.

Halstrom explains that the Atlanta meeting has attracted USMEF members from a wide range of sectors, and will include release of preliminary market research conducted in Angola, Benin, Congo, Gabon, Ghana and Nigeria. Information for Senegal will also be included, based on USMEF’s earlier work in that market.

He says exporters’ interest in the West African market is being driven by strong economic growth in the region, which is attracting modern supermarket chains and restaurants. These outlets give U.S. companies new opportunities to differentiate high-quality beef, pork and lamb and target consumers who are interested in higher-end proteins.

TRANSCRIPT Joe Schuele - In this US Meat Export Federation Report, we discuss USMEF West Africa initiative with Dan Halstrom, senior vice president for global marketing. Preliminary findings in the project will be unveiled January 26th in Atlanta, and Halstrom has more details.

Dan Halstrom – It focuses on those West African markets that have the most potential medium and long term for U.S. beef, pork and lamb exports. And basically the countries we looked at include Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Angola, Gabon and Congo. This really dates back to two years ago when several of our members started mentioning business opportunities – albeit, not big at the time - but there were business opportunities in this region and we started digging into it a little further and it’s a combination of indicators that are really driving this interest. Generic population growth for one, as well as massive GDP growth in a lot of these markets. A lot of it is growth from natural resources, be it oil, coal, diamonds, etc. Combined with that generic population growth, we’re starting to see the first phases of modern retail development. We’re not trying to market our products as a commodity, wet market product. We’re trying to market our products as higher value products that will go into these higher-end markets.

Joe Schuele - Halstrom says the Atlanta meeting will bring together companies from several sectors with growing interest in the region.

Dan Halstrom - Some of the people coming to this meeting will have no experience dealing in this region and a lot of them will have extensive experience. And a lot of the experience isn’t so much from beef and pork but from poultry. There’s legitimate poultry business from the U.S. today going to this region of the world and as the economies develop, they’re going to expand beyond poultry and want some other meat protein choices. So that’s the purpose – to bring all groups together, give them an update on what we found, but more importantly have some discussion around next steps.

Joe Schuele - For more on this and other trade issues, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.