American beef is on its way to China for the first time in 14 years. Nebraska’s Greater Omaha Packing Company announced today it was sending beef by air freight to a customer in Shanghai.
At a press event this morning, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts and Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach joined Greater Omaha Packing Chief Executive Henry Davis to load the first box of beef destined for China.
Greater Omaha vice president of sales and marketing Dan Jensen said the first shipment was about 40 boxes of steaks – ribeyes, tenderloins and New York strips – sent as a test.
“We want to know how the process works,” he told the Lincoln Journal Star. "This will be the first of many shipments."
On Monday, USDA announced final details concerning export requirements to resume beef shipments to China. Among the requirements, U.S. producers must track the birthplace of cattle born in the United States that are destined for export to China.
"Greater Omaha is one of the great Nebraska companies that is helping us grow our state here by helping promote our No. 1 industry, which is beef," said Ricketts.
Davis said, “China has the potential to be the largest market for U.S. beef. This will be the first of many shipments.”
Davis said Greater Omaha Packing has hired bilingual marketers and taken hundreds of calls in recent months from Chinese companies looking to import U.S. beef.