Colorado's beef interests are smiling over a new U.S.-Japan agreement to expand this nation's access to the Japanese market for beef.
"Colorado's agricultural industry is thankful to the U.S. and Japanese governments for bringing the change for the Colorado and U.S. beef industry," says Colorado Ag Commissioner John Salazar. "Japan is our second largest export market for beef already, and with this new agreement we anticipate even more opportunities to sell Colorado beef in Japan."
In 2003, Japan closed the market to U.S. beef with the discovery of mad cow disease in Washington. Subsequently, the Japanese opened their market to allow beef from cattle 20 months of age or younger. Now, under the new agreement, cattle up to 30 months of age will be allowed into the nation.
This increases the percentage of herds eligible for the Japanese market from 20% to 90%, notes Salazar.
The role of export of farm goods from Colorado is growing the market for the state's producers, who will meet in a special Colorado Department of Agriculture-sponsored "Exploring Exporting: The World is Waiting" seminar in Denver on Feb. 28.
The program is touted as a chance for producers to explore export insights and develop new foreign sales.
"Colorado's agricultural industry is now exporting products to over 125 countries, and export opportunities exist for large and small companies and producers," says Salazar. "Cattle ranchers export breedstock, our food processors sell their products around the world, and our state supplies over 50% of all the exported millet from the U.S."
The seminar, held from 9:45 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Denver Renaissance Hotel, is customized for Colorado food and agriculture businesses. The seminar will offer information and resources from industry experts on how exporting can help companies to grow.
Seminar topics include: opportunity analysis of food consumption trends around the world; the importance of exports to the local and regional economy; financing international trade, and accessing local trade resources.
Registration fee is $25 per person, which includes lunch. For more information, go to www.wusata.org/wusata/eventreg/eventdetail.aspx?event=M13SRTGCO§ion=Events2, or call Tim Larsen at (303) 239-4118, or via email at Timothy.Larsen@state.co.us.