Cargill is working to expand the presence of its Spencer Beef brand in Japan after the country eased restrictions on US beef imports in January.

The premium brand was popular with Japanese consumers before the Japanese government banned US beef imports in 2003 following the discovery of BSE in the US cattle herd. 

“Cargill is delighted to reintroduce Spencer Beef to the Japanese market, and we look forward to filling the needs of retail and foodservice customers, as well as consumers who have shown a preference for beef from the United States,” said Eddie Troutman, Cargill vice president for international beef sales.

“We know Japanese consumers enjoy and trust American beef, and our goal is to provide a high quality, nutritious, flavorful and abundant supply exclusively from our Nebraska processing facility.”

The move to relaunch the brand has been backed by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, with NDA director Greg Ibach attending trade shows with Cargill in Tokyo and Osaka. The Nebraska Beef Council has provided partial funding support for the events.