A diverse team of pork industry leaders will visit Colombia Nov. 13-16 for a comprehensive look at one of the fast-growing international markets for U.S. pork. The market visit is part of the educational curriculum offered by the Pork Leadership Institute (PLI). The delegation includes 18 PLI participants from 14 states: Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Mississippi, New York, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah.
Don Mason, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) project specialist in Colombia, helped arrange part of the group's itinerary, which includes opportunities to view the distribution of both imported and domestic pork through various retail, foodservice and processing channels in the capital city of Bogota. Mason notes that while Colombia's domestic pork production has been steadily growing in recent years, it cannot keep with the rapid growth in consumption - which creates excellent opportunities for the U.S. industry.
Through September, U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports to Colombia totaled 65,237 metric tons - up 41 percent from a year ago - valued at $148.2 million (up 37%). It is the sixth-largest volume destination for U.S. pork in 2018 and seventh-largest in value.