CHEYENNE – People across the globe in Taipei, Taiwan, currently enjoy high-quality beef from Wyoming farmers, and after a meeting here Monday, producers hope to increase sales of lamb there, as well.
According to the U.S. Meat Export Federation, Taiwan was the sixth-largest buyer of U.S. beef in 2018, and representatives from industries in both countries would like to see that number grow.
Letters of intent to facilitate beef and lamb trade between Wyoming and Taiwan were signed Monday by Gov. Mark Gordon and representatives from parties like the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative and the Mountain States Rosen Company.
“We expect to increase our purchase from Wyoming in the future,” said Ming-Sui Kao, superintendent of the Taiwan Frozen Meatpackers Association.
The agreement is a result of the Wyoming Business Council and the year-old Wyoming-Asia Pacific Trade Office in Taiwan, which aims to “promote exchanges in agriculture, technology, tourism and education,” according to the office’s website.
The site also says Wyoming was the seventh state in the U.S. to open an office in Taiwan.
“This office has helped Wyoming and Taiwan continue to strengthen their bonds together,” Gordon said. “The Wyoming Business Council has helped Wyoming ranchers build a small, steady supply of beef to select five-star restaurants in Taipei.”
The Business Council is working with the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office in Seattle to help increase international business-to-business transactions, according to a news release.
In 2016, Taiwan approved U.S. lamb imports, and the demand for U.S. lamb has “skyrocketed” by 266% since then, according to Gordon.
Brad Boner, chairman of the Mountain States Lamb Cooperative, said the focus would begin with Taiwan’s high-end market, which includes luxury restaurants and hotels.
“The Taiwanese have a discerning palette,” Gordon said. He said the air, water and quality of farming all set Wyoming’s beef and lamb products apart.
The parties exchanged gifts, and Kao extended an invitation for Gordon to visit Taiwan.
He said, “I hope the governor’s delegation will visit the meatpackers association and allow us to reciprocate your warm hospitality.”