It takes a team to export beef

May 14, 2015

Liz Wunderlich works to build demand for U.S. beef overseas as Caribbean representative for U.S. Meat Export Federation.
Credit Certified Angus Beef

We’ve all heard the phrase it takes a village to raise a child.  The same is true with exporting beef.  From logistics to linguistics, the teams working to export beef add well beyond $300 to the value of each head of cattle annually reports the High Plains Journal.

Here’s a glimpse at the role of three people making it happen.

Dan Chase is the senior director of logistics and outbound marketing for SYSCO Food Group.  Chase’s job is detail and deadlines. His team of seven is responsible for taking orders, relabeling in three languages, combining products to be shipped together so nothing expires, and arranging transportation.  That’s just delivering the product.  There’s a mountain of paperwork: a commercial invoice, a packing list, certification of origin, sometimes a USDA affidavit, and more than all have to be notarized, delivered to the receiving country’s consulate, where they are stamped and returned to Chase’s team.  The process usually takes two to three weeks.  There’s pressure because the paperwork needs to beat the product to port.

Then there’s people like Liz Wunderlich.  She’s working to build demand for beef overseas.  Wunderlich is the Caribbean representative for U.S. meat Export Federation.  She’s a meat scientist who’s spent the last 22 years educating about what makes U.S. beef unique.  She says her role is like “trying to sell a Mercedes in a Ford Pinto country.”

Cattlemen in the United States depend on people like Liz to create demand from Japan and Russia to Dubai and Peru.

Alberto Diaz is a team member rarely noticed.  He’s a translator.  Diaz helps give understanding when international guests tour the beef industry in the States.  He says it’s important to connect international customers so they can see the great care the U.S. industry has for their product.

Today 96 percent of the world’s population lives outside the U.S.  Experts say that’s the best place to grow beef demand.