Weekly USMEF Audio Report: Coronavirus Impacts Restaurant Demand, Creates Food Distribution Challenges
DENVER, CO -February 3, 2020 – Joel Haggard, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for the Asia Pacific, who is based in Hong Kong, offers observations on how the spread of coronavirus is impacting food demand and distribution in the Greater China region. Haggard notes that despite rumors to the contrary, ports are functioning and imported goods continue to enter China. He recalls that even during the height of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak that struck China/Hong Kong in 2003-2004, ports operated with little interruption.
Haggard explains that the Chinese government is taking measures to ensure that food distribution channels function as smoothly as possible. He says restaurants and hotels will feel the most immediate impact due to travel restrictions and the tendency for consumers to dine out less frequently, but Haggard expects demand at supermarkets to remain strong.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (www.USMEF.org) is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.
Submitted to the BARN by:
Vice President, Communications
U.S. Meat Export Federation