CALGARY, ALBERTA — The Canada Beef Export Federation relays it had a high-profile presence at ExpoHotel Cancun, which was recently held in Cancun, Mexico. The show provided an opportunity to raise awareness for Canadian beef with the hotel and restaurant industries in one of the major tourist destinations in Mexico, said Chenier LaSalle, C.B.E.F. vice-president of international programs.

"This industry is a promising and growing market for high-end Canadian beef in general — and more specifically for middle cuts and under-valued cuts, such as the Shoulder Tender," he added.

A large-scale version of a merchandising guide created by C.B.E.F. for the Mexico market was featured at the C.B.E.F. booth. The guide illustrates the fabrication specifications for 89 different cuts of Canadian beef merchandised to appeal to the Mexico market, along with cooking methods for the cuts, Mr. La Salle said. "The cuts illustrated on the guide utilize the whole carcass and go a long way toward maximizing carcass value for the Canadian industry in Mexico," he added.

Industry executives at the C.B.E.F. booth included representatives of Export Federation members Cargill Foods, XL Foods/Lakeside Packers and Wagyu Canada Inc.

Javier Bonilla, sales director for XL Foods/Lakeside Packers, credited his company’s participation in the show with sales of Canadian beef. "We partnered with a major distributor to the hotel and restaurant industry, working along side them at the C.B.E.F. booth to showcase the benefits of Canadian beef," he added. "We made sure to showcase some underutilized product.

"Because of the show, we sold three loads, including some middle cuts," he continued. "The show was a complete success, and we appreciated the efforts of the C.B.E.F. Mexico office."

In 2008, Canadian beef exports to Mexico totaled 47,000 tonnes (US$156 million).