Beef Roadshow in Europe Promotes Quality, Versatility

EU - An ambitious project aimed at improving awareness of US beef in the European Union was successfully implemented this summer by USMEF, which partnered with distributors to conduct nine US Beef Roadshow events over the course of nine days in five different countries.
calendar icon 29 July 2019
clock icon 3 minute read

Funded by the Beef Checkoff Programme and the Agricultural Trade Promotion Programme (ATP), the Road Show was anchored by educational US beef master classes in Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Poland.

USMEF is a subcontractor of the Beef Checkoff.

"The idea was to team up with US beef distributors across Europe and organize training sessions for their clients to help them learn more about US beef and the types of cuts available to them," said Yuri Barutkin, USMEF representative in the EU.

"The master classes were the main events of the Road Show, and they were targeted exclusively at professionals who either already use US beef in their businesses or plan to use it in the future."

John Cadieux, a prominent international chef who has worked extensively with US beef during his career, was designated as the US beef ambassador during what Mr Barutkin described as a "mobile classroom" project.

John Cadieux, an international chef with broad knowledge of US beef, explains the advantages of marbling at a US beef master class in Stockholm, Sweden [Photo: USMEF]

"Chef Cadieux not only brings with him the great knowledge of US beef and its use in professional kitchens, but also his experience working with US beef globally — from the United Kingdom to Canada, Switzerland, Thailand and beyond," said Mr Barutkin.

"The classes also utilized USMEF-trained regional beef ambassadors in each country visited, with an overall goal of providing insights into US beef and sharing information about its availability."

The master classes were custom-built for each stop, reflecting the types of cuts used by foodservice and retail clients and the level of knowledge of US beef in each location.

"None of the master classes were the same – for example, in countries where US beef is in the developmental stage, the classes were about the versatility of cuts available, recipes and advice for working with US beef," said Mr Barutkin.

"In those locations we offered hands-on sessions where participants were given the opportunity to cook the meat themselves."

In countries where US beef is well-established, the focus was on the story behind US beef – its quality, how it is produced, and what makes its special.

The Road Show master classes were mostly single events focused on specific clients. But in the Czech Republic and Lithuania, a series of regional master classes was conducted by US beef distributors in their respective regions.

In all, more than 250 chefs and other foodservice professionals participated in the nine master classes, with another 300 attending the regional master classes in the Czech Republic.

Mr Barutkin noted that officials and staff from Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) offices in several of the countries visited by the US Beef Road Show pitched in to assist USMEF with the initiative.

"USMEF had great support from FAS and we always value and appreciate the local knowledge of FAS staff and their presence in the market, along with their drive to highlight US beef," said Mr Barutkin.

"They contributed to the positive atmosphere at our events and that’s a big part of getting more customers to engage with US beef."

A video of Chef John Cadieux and participants in the US Beef Roadshow in the EU talking about US beef can be seen here.

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