The delegates visited Market Expo in Shanghai, then moved on to Asia’s largest food exhibition, FoodEx in Tokyo.
Speaking from the event, Jennifer Houston, cattle producer from Sweetwater, Tennessee, said: "Being here at FoodEx really drives home for me just how badly all of these suppliers want to be in the Japanese market.
"Japan is extremely important for them, just as it is for the US meat industry, so the market is intensely competitive. But the buyers I have met with are just thrilled with US beef and interested in purchasing more, which is gratifying to see."
Her views were echoed by Karen Grant, a pork producer from Meadow Grove, Nebraska, who serves on the Nebraska Pork Producers board of directors.
"One thing I ask all the buyers I meet is: ‘Are we sending the product that you want?’" Grant said. "And every answer has been a very definite ‘Yes’. They are very pleased with the quality of US pork and, as a producer, that makes me very happy."
"US producers are very proud of their product," noted Chaley Harney, executive director of the Montana Beef Council. "And it’s wonderful for them to see US beef represented so well at FoodEx and all of the commerce that’s taking place here."
The Market Expo team also toured the largest cold storage facility in Japan, which is operated by Nippon Ham Group, a leading importer of US pork and beef, as well as retail visits, including a tour of an AEON supermarket that was conducting US pork and beef tasting demonstrations.