Sri Lanka a potential new target for US beef

3 November 2012 03:54 am - 52     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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The United States Meat Export Federation (USMEF) said that US should start to export wide range of American products, including U.S. beef to Sri Lanka, the US based beefmagazine reported.

“U.S. beef has been shut out of this market since 2003, but there are importers here who pre-date that ban and are still familiar with the quality of our product,” says Joel Haggard, USMEF senior vice president for the Asia Pacific region. “Now that the economic and political climates have stabilized, we feel there’s an opportunity to revisit this issue and hopefully regain market access.”

The USMEF recently conducted an in-depth market evaluation using funding provided through the USDA Market Access Program (MAP). Sri Lanka is an island nation off the southeastern coast of India with a population of more than 20 million. Until 2009, it was plagued by civil war and ongoing political conflict. The island was also devastated by a deadly tsunami in 2004, which killed more than 30,000 people and displaced 1.5 million others.

Recently, however, Sri Lankans have enjoyed a much more peaceful existence, which has led to economic growth and a revitalized tourism sector. Sri Lanka’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by more than 8% last year, to about $60 billion.

The country’s meat trade is still in its infancy, but both the interest and infrastructure are in place. Currently, only Australia and New Zealand enjoy market access for fresh and frozen beef products. (Trade data suggests Singapore and Malaysia are also suppliers, but product imported from those countries is believed to have originated from Australia and New Zealand.) Import duties and other fees can be very steep in Sri Lanka – as high as 80%. While halal certification isn't required, it tends to be a common customer preference as Sri Lanka’s population is about 8% Muslim.

Sri Lanka’s largest city is Colombo, with a population of 750,000 within the city limits and 1.5 million in the metropolitan area. Numerous supermarket visits in this area revealed a retail sector that is growing rapidly and sorely in need of a wider range of products.

“Modern supermarket chains such as Keells and Cargills are operating in Sri Lanka, but rely mostly on domestic goods,” Haggard says. “There are definitely growth opportunities in this sector for a wide range of American products, including U.S. beef.”

Haggard believes the biggest opportunity in Sri Lanka lies in that nation’s efforts to bolster tourism, which could make the hospitality sector a promising outlet for U.S. beef. In addition to the area around Colombo, the island’s spectacular east coast is a major target for tourism development.

“Sri Lanka has ambitious plans to make it onto the ‘A list’ of Asian tourist destinations, in line with Bali and several popular locations in Thailand,” Haggard explains. “It certainly has the beaches, archeological and cultural sites and eco-tourism potential, but its infrastructure is still in need of improvement.”

One potential avenue for USMEF to pursue is Sri Lanka’s newly reopened Institute of Tourism and Hotel Management, which hasn't been operational because of past political and economic difficulties. Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Economic Development has earmarked funds to revitalize this facility
“With the current access challenges we face in Sri Lanka, this is a market that will require patience and some significant groundwork,” Haggard says. “But it's a country committed to economic growth and development, and embracing trade will have to be part of that equation. It’s really exciting to see the opportunities that are unfolding here.”
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  Comments - 52

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  • Patriot Sunday, 04 November 2012 12:00 AM

    "Halal" no it's Lal. via DM Android App

    Rasheed Sunday, 04 November 2012 04:26 AM

    Now, protest in America to stop killing cows but killing humans is alright. Today too there are 4 bodies found but that is no problem. Only beef should not be consumed.... haa...haa..

    azath Monday, 05 November 2012 12:58 AM

    This is for only Buddhists who may eat beef But do not like to kill it. So, Beef slaughtered in Sri lanka only for Muslims Obviously prices would be lowered Ha wonderful.

    Such Sunday, 04 November 2012 04:56 AM

    Don't think that this is such a good idea. We may end up getting contaminated food stuff. Better to be same than sorry. Besides shouldn't we really be looking into exporting our products rather than importing more?

    SL Boy Sunday, 04 November 2012 04:57 AM

    He is scared of his own life, so should be hiding somewhere.

    Noor Sunday, 04 November 2012 05:46 AM

    If we stop slaughtering, in the next cencus report, the animals counts will be more that the human.

    xlntgson Sunday, 04 November 2012 06:05 AM

    Brand rivalry! Now only I understand why the numerical majority is against ritual slaughter but not slaughtering on daily basis!

    Hussain Sunday, 04 November 2012 06:08 AM

    Sri Lanka should consider it fortunate to get US Beef. Where the cattle are fed a very good environmentally friendly diet & taken care of, as they are bred for the market. Also, they are humanely slaughtered after first being electrically stunned.

    Janaki Kalansuriya Sunday, 04 November 2012 06:51 AM

    Plus for the JHU, Minus for Wimal. Hooray for our Cows.

    Neina Sunday, 04 November 2012 07:11 AM

    Americans finally identified one of the loopholes of Buddhism to intrude their principles.

    nicky karunarathna Monday, 05 November 2012 02:08 AM

    But if you eat these American food, rape of women would go up. Why? Recently during the presidential race debate one US senator has said that, women are getting raped - that's what intended by the God. Holy land! There is saying what you eat, what you are!

    xlntgson Sunday, 04 November 2012 07:30 AM

    Isn't this a racial comment? Over to you, # lobo.

    Lobo Monday, 05 November 2012 02:12 AM

    Yes it is...so what??

    Thara Sunday, 04 November 2012 09:08 AM

    Why do we need to import beef? We have more than enough cows! Some of them have ended up in the parliment too

    Lanka Lion - Sydney Sunday, 04 November 2012 10:52 AM

    Dumping ground for deceased cattle after hurricane Sandy.

    born killer Sunday, 04 November 2012 01:56 PM

    Most of the buddhist priests eat fish.can someone tell me is it less sin to kill creatures breath under water?

    Al Rasa Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:11 AM

    Eating beef is a crime.

    Sandy Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:17 AM

    Imported U.s.Beef for the rich 1% while most others struggle to put a meal on the table... what an idea!

    CJ Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:26 AM

    Sri Lanka is not a profitable market for Beef business.

    Adi Monday, 05 November 2012 05:11 AM

    #nicky well said !!! and beef?? why are the people so greedy about eating those poor animals..now they are gonna import also?? crazy...

    Royalist Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:42 AM

    No thank you very much... we have more than enough cattle in the cabinet!

    Suren Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:48 AM

    Maybe it's good since the slaughtering standards in US are better than here.

    born killer Saturday, 03 November 2012 04:33 PM

    so only beef? y not chicken and fish?

    dass Saturday, 03 November 2012 04:35 PM

    Good news for our cattle.

    Puran Saturday, 03 November 2012 04:47 PM

    Uncle Mervin and his dearly beloved son Mlaka must be the premium cuts of beef during his 6 or more weeks holiday in the U S A.

    Food Lover Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:58 AM

    Not only Beef, we need more dairy products. We cannot get many Cheeses

    Union Saturday, 03 November 2012 04:49 PM

    Where is Mervin to protest against US for slaughtering beef

    asoka Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:06 PM

    very good opportunity to stop slaughtering cattle in sri lanka...any body who prefers beef can buy imported beef...very very good move...

    Ranjith Sunday, 04 November 2012 03:37 PM

    You can order with or without halal.

    Psyke Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:10 PM

    They say slaughtering animals is not good. So what about importing slaughtered animal's beef ?

    Epavela Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:13 AM

    who needs your beef....go to hell...are you trying to take advantage of the situations prevailing in SL? ACJU will not give you Halaal certification...

    Kay Parker Sunday, 04 November 2012 03:54 PM

    what about the Pigs, Goats and Chicken??? Some eat turtles and Hedgehogs also.

    Wimal Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:21 AM

    Wimal Uncle.. please say no!!!!

    rumi Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:19 PM

    US beef id not problem for MERVYN SILVA- Because they rich cows. GOD will accept.

    amare Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:24 AM

    Where is bodu bala sena...?

    siva Saturday, 03 November 2012 05:34 PM

    Slaughtering cows by Hindus that's a joke where does this happen .

    Hitler Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:15 PM

    Mervin Silva... where r u... US is killing animals.... Go ahead and file a petition against them....

    mamath Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:36 AM

    Obama Mama..Please be careful! Our BODU BALA SENA will have Satyagraha in front of White House.

    Roy B. Sunday, 04 November 2012 12:00 AM

    In Sri Lanka most of the Buddhist don't eat meat. But eat the curry. via DM Android App

    pol haraka Saturday, 03 November 2012 06:52 AM

    it will be a big flop, Muslims only eat soooo much of beef and muslims will not eat it unless its from thambi shop in vegetable market

    Prem Sunday, 04 November 2012 12:09 AM

    I believe in Nepal they do at some Hindu festival using their Kukri knives.

    Lobo Sunday, 04 November 2012 01:37 AM

    Al rasa...so is stupidity! Don't force your beliefs, likes or dislikes down other peoples throats.

    Kondebandapuchhena Saturday, 03 November 2012 07:28 AM

    Mad Cow D

    Hell man Sunday, 04 November 2012 06:40 PM

    Gery mus kaala Suraa beela human right surakimu!!!!

    Heylaya Saturday, 03 November 2012 07:35 AM

    Apita apa..Namouth api horen kamuko

    Beef Lover Saturday, 03 November 2012 07:37 AM

    Uncle Marvin, balannako what are you doing now..

    lAPAS Saturday, 03 November 2012 07:38 AM

    Maybe the kovil's could import live cattle to be slaughtered here, So that the so called Bodu Bala Sena's could not interefere,

    Abdul Sunday, 04 November 2012 02:02 AM

    is it halal ?

    Jo Perera Sunday, 04 November 2012 07:43 PM

    WE ARE BUDDHIST COUNTRY - WHY SHOULD WE IMPORT THIS AMERICAN FILTH ??????

    Noor Saturday, 03 November 2012 08:12 AM

    This will not happen. mostly muslims eat beef but they eat only halal meat. may be good for hotels european guest will love it but sri lankans specialy muslims.

    Ranjit Sunday, 04 November 2012 02:45 AM

    Slaughtering of humans in Iraq and Afghanistan?


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