LINCOLN – Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) Director Greg Ibach is in Europe this week working to promote Nebraska beef products in Germany, Belgium and England.
“We recognize that foreign markets place a high value on Nebraska beef products, and the European marketplace is one in which we see a tremendous opportunity for continued growth,” said Ibach. 
Ibach arrived in Düsseldorf and will be meeting with a current importer, along with several prospective customers of Nebraska beef products.  According to Ibach, Germany is one of the largest importers of Nebraska beef in the European Union (EU), having gone from importing $10.7 million worth of beef products in 2011 to $25.1 million worth of beef products in 2013.
On the second leg of his trip, Ibach will travel to Brussels to meet with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Mission to the EU Minister-Counselor Maurice House.  Ibach also will meet with several high-ranking EU officials, including European Livestock and Meat Trading Union (UECBV) Secretary General Jean-Luc Meriaux. 
“During my time in Brussels, I hope to have insightful discussion with both U.S. and EU officials about agricultural policy, including an update from them on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership trade agreement and how that agreement may affect trade with Nebraska,” said Ibach.

The next stop will be Berlin, where Ibach will be joined by Nebraska beef producer Terry Vinton and Executive Director of the Nebraska Beef Council Ann Marie Bosshamer.  They will meet with U.S. Embassy representatives and host a special beef tasting promotion, where prospective importers will learn more about how U.S. beef is raised and how to purchase U.S. beef products. 
For the final leg of the trip, Ibach will travel to London. There he will be joined by Jeff Rudolph, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, and Dawn Caldwell, a member of the Nebraska Beef Council.  While there they will meet with a number of different restaurants and distributors that sell Nebraska beef products.  The group also will host the Nebraska Beef Symposium at the Goodman Restaurant.  During the symposium, Dr. Chris Calkins from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln will share with restaurant chefs the value and impact Nebraska beef can have on their businesses. 
“I am proud to join Director Ibach in London and represent the Nebraska Cattlemen as we promote Nebraska sourced beef to the EU market.  The association has members that raise and feed cattle qualifying for the UK/EU market and benefit from these value added markets,” said Rudolph.
The market for Nebraska beef in the EU has grown over the past five years. In 2008, $32.8 million worth of fresh and frozen beef from Nebraska was going into the EU market. In 2013, that figure grew to $132.6 million.
Partial funding for this trip comes from the Nebraska Beef Council and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.