The U.S. Meat Export Federation helped coordinate and host visits by two teams representing the government of Japan
to observe 10 different U.S.
beef packing plants and other facilities that want to qualify under the USDA beef export verification program for Japan
U.S. beef shipments to Japan must meet certain safety conditions, including meat from cattle aged up to 20 months and the removal of specified risk material that could transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
During a visit to the Swift & Co. plant in Greeley, Colo., Japanese media were allowed to view and film portions of the audit process being observed by Japanese government officials, and the reporters were provided a rare opportunity to tour the entire plant to show Japanese consumers the steps and procedures to ensure U.S. beef is safe.
Japanese media also gathered Dec. 16 at Yusen, an air and freight company in Denver, to send off the 285-pound shipment of U.S. beef for the luncheon, which arrived in Tokyo on Sunday, Dec. 17. Seng, along with Japanese officials and media, met the shipment at Narita International Airport, welcoming U.S. beef back to Japan.
USMEF will open 2006 with a New Yearâ€™s greeting in Japanâ€™s major newspapers conveying a positive message of goodwill and a prosperous new year, and will work throughout the year using education, promotion and kansha (appreciation) to regain Japanese consumer confidence in U.S. beef.