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On behalf of U.S. pork producers and importers, the National Pork Board has allocated $100,000 from the Pork Checkoff to provide pork product and to help get it distributed to those in need in Japan, following the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern sections of the country on March 11.
The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), which represents the U.S. meat industry in Japan from its office in Tokyo, will work with U.S. pork packers and others who have established distribution networks in Japan to make sure the food gets to those who need it.
The goal of the outreach program is to ensure that food requiring little or no preparation -- such as pre-made bento (lunch) boxes -- can be provided to people who have been displaced.
The United States and Japan have a long-standing relationship involving pigs and pork. The Pork Checkoff has promoted pork in Japan for many years and has built a loyal customer base. In recent years, Japan has been the top export customer for U.S. pork. In 2010, Japan purchased $1.6 billion of U.S. pork
The National Pork Board is encouraging others in the pork industry to match their contribution and expand the reach of this effort. Those interested in participating either through pork product donations or monetary donations, should contact Jim Herlihy at USMEF, [email protected] or (303)623-6328.