Butcher shop program promotes U.S. red meat in Colombia

by | Dec 4, 2023 | 5 Ag Stories, News

With support from USDA, the National Pork Board and the Beef Checkoff Program, the U.S. Meat Export Federation helps Colombian butcher shops more effectively merchandise U.S. red meat. USMEF Latin America Representative Homero Recio said the butcher shops play a key role in Colombia’s retail sector.

“Butcher shops in Colombia make up a larger part of sales than in other markets in Latin America. The modern supermarket format is growing in Colombia,” Recio said. “But yet so much of the product is sold in these butcher shops. There’s still some expansion left in that model for MEF to work in. We are well received- we are welcome to work in that area. And we have really seen the ability for our products- pork and beef- to take market share, because of the individual cuts that we offer, the quality that we offer, the size and consistency that we offer. They say well, what’s the price? That’s obviously one of the major questions, but we try to move them beyond what’s the price and we have a person that does an evaluation of their business and comes back with recommendations. This has resulted in some cost savings for these butcher shops, additional point of sale material, redesign of some of the butcher shops and providing information that those butchers can provide to their consumers.”

Recio said U.S. pork and beef cuts have gained traction with butcher shop customers, including pork brisket bone, sirloin, and bone-in loin.

“One of the principal products that goes to Colombia on the beef side is the coulotte- the cap of the sirloin,” Recio said. “It’s a very traditional cut in Colombia, but the U.S. product is of a different quality level. But what we’ve been adding over the last couple of years is some secondary cuts like beef short ribs, beef tri-tip. On the pork side, the emphasis is primarily loins. The sirloin end of the loin is a very popular cut as well as increasingly the bone-in full loin going into the marketplace. But the one real star – that’s the pork brisket bone, which comes off the production of a St. Louis rib. That product is being sold fresh, but more and more is being cured and smoked – a value add item in the retail marketplace.”

For more information, visit usmef.org.