Speaking to Farm Bureau Members, William Westman, Vice President for International Trade at the Meat Institute, said as global demand for U.S. agricultural products continues to grow; American farmers can expect to see an increasing number of opportunities in China and other Asian markets in 2012. He said – there are tremendous opportunities in China.
Westman explained that the Chinese government is trying to improve the nation’s agricultural infrastructure and productivity by investing in new technologies, heavily subsidizing machinery and changing the efficiencies of the way farmers plant and harvest crops. However, water shortages in northern portions of the country hinder this progress and make the nation increasingly dependent on agricultural imports.
He noted the consumer market in China is shifting, too. Consumers are not only concerned about the quality of the food they are buying, but are also increasingly demanding high-quality presentations for that food. This becomes more apparent when factoring in the number of five-star hotels opening in China – and could become the missing piece needed for U.S. beef exports to succeed.