USMEF's Dan Halstrom Sees Signing of Ocean Reform Act to Help U.S. Meat Exporters Be Reliable Suppliers
Oklahoma Farm Report
20 Jun 2022
Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster, Ron Hays, is speaking with the president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Dan Halstrom. Recently signed into law, Hays and Halstrom talk about the Ocean Shipping Reform Act and how it will give more leverage in making sure U.S. meat exports are treated fairly when moving to their end destinations.
“We have all been talking about international shipping or congestion for months now, and it continues to be a real problem threatening to slow down demand,” Halstrom said. “Demand is still pretty good, but this threatens to slow it down.”
The Ocean Shipping Reform Act, Halstrom said, which was signed into law recently is a big step forward. It will enable the industry, particularly exports, to gain leverage to ship products more promptly, he added.
“One of our big selling points as an export industry for beef and pork, in particular, has been the ability to ship reliably week after week,” Halstrom said. “The last several months, that has not been the case.”
While it will take some time to sort through the congestion, Halstrom said we are now in a good position and can look forward to a level playing field.
“One of the things that I think this act will do is hopefully put some pressure on the steamship lines to fill more of the containers and send them back full, rather than empty, back to Asia,” Halstrom said.
The USMEF has been pushing with many other organizations in their industry for this sort of reform, Halstrom said, so it is rewarding to see it finally here.
What sets U.S. beef and pork apart from other supply sources in the world, Halstrom said, is our fresh, chilled products that have not been frozen.
“That means we need to have a reliable delivery service,” Halstrom said. “You can ship it, but if it doesn't deliver on time, this is a problem.”
Halstrom said because the U.S. has high-quality products to offer, the signing of the Ocean Shipping Reform Act was pertinent to help get back on the right track.
“The demand has been resilient, to say the least,” Halstrom said. “The demand in some of these countries is record-breaking.”
Halstrom credits growing global meat demand to an expanding middle class and increased spending power in many countries.
Foodservice is rebounding in Asia, Halstrom said...
more, including audio [6:15 min.]