SOUTH SYDNEY, Australia – Australia’s red meat industry has launched numerous activities in support of Japan since Japan suffered its the 'triple disaster' – the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis – which have caused damage to more 5% of agricultural land in the three affected prefectures.

"Meat & Livestock Australia [MLA], with Aussie Beef ambassador Ken Tanaka and a local non- profit organization, hosted soup-runs last week in the disaster-affected north, where more than 160,000 people are in temporary accommodation," said Melanie Brock, MLA’s regional manager in Japan.

More activities are being planned for the coming months, including a charity barbecue in the heavily affected Sendai with the assistance of many Australians living in Japan who have helped victims of the earthquake. MLA Japan is also preparing 10,000 units of Aussie Beef retort-pouch curries and stews to donate to the disaster area.

MLA Japan has also launched special logos to be displayed in more than 2,000 outlets nation-wide with the familiar Aussie Beef brand accompanied with the message 'We are with you', to show support to that nation’s foodservice sector.

"This initiative has been greatly supported by the Japanese foodservice sector and will be on menus and in stores from April until June," Brock said.

Although it is too early to know the effects on exports to Japan, it has been predicted that general demand for imported food will increase, she added.