Since the beginning of the year, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused challenges for the food industry in Asia, with in-restaurant dining suspended in some countries for several weeks. However, demand for pork and beef has proven resilient at the retail level, with supermarket sales remaining very strong and consumers greatly increasing their use of e-commerce platforms and delivery services, according to a U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) release. While restaurants still face a long recovery, USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom says it is showing strong signs of improvement, with more workers returning to a normal routine and restaurant traffic beginning to rebound.
In the audio below, Halstrom notes that the impact of African swine fever (ASF) is still being felt across the globe, heightening the need for high-quality protein. He adds that with the U.S. red meat industry in a period of record-large production, it is especially well-positioned to fill this need, according to the release.