Iowa Premium
CEO says company has had inquiries from a number of Chinese import customers.
TAMA, Iowa – Iowa Premium is the first Iowa-based beef company to receive authorization to export beef to China.

Shipments of US beef are set to resume after a 13-year hiatus following technical consultations between the US and China. The agreement allows for qualified beef products produced after May 24, 2017, to be exported once a processing plant is approved by USDA as eligible to export to China. 

“We are excited to supply Chinese consumers with consistent, high-quality, family farm-raised, Black Angus beef products,” said Jeffrey Johnson, CEO of Iowa Premium. “Iowa Premium believes China will be an excellent export partner and we look forward to building a long sustainable relationship.”

Requirements for export to China include:

  • Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle that were born, raised and slaughtered in the US, cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico and subsequently raised and slaughtered in the US, or cattle that were imported from Canada or Mexico for direct slaughter;
  • Cattle must be traceable to the US birth farm using a unique identifier, or if imported to the first place of residence or port of entry;
  • Beef and beef products must be derived from cattle less than 30 months of age;
  • Chilled or frozen bone-in and deboned beef products are eligible for shipment. A complete listing is available in the FSIS Export Library; and
  • Carcasses, beef and beef products must be uniquely identified and controlled up until the time of shipment.


Iowa Premium maintains strict cattle procurement guidelines. Cattle are sourced only from family farmer-feeders in Iowa and neighboring Midwest states. All cattle are under 30 months of age and have been born, raised and finished in the United States.

“Our beef is in demand, and we have had an extraordinary amount of inquiries from interested Chinese import companies. We are confident these valuable customers will appreciate the quality and consistency of Iowa Premium’s products,” Johnson said.

China banned shipments of US beef in 2003. The US was China’s largest supplier of imported beef, providing 70 percent of their total intake until the ban took effect. The value of imports of US beef to China has increased to $2.5 billion in 2016 from $275 million in 2012, according to USDA. The US is the world’s largest beef producer and was the world’s fourth-largest exporter, with global sales of more than $5.4 billion in 2016.

“We have great partners in our local cattle feeders who maintain the necessary records for compliance with policies set forth by China. In turn, our team at Iowa Premium is judiciously auditing the required food safety and traceability protocols,” Johnson said.

For more information about Iowa Premium’s commitment to quality, sustainability, and animal welfare, visit: