The Caribbean has been a bright spot for U.S. meat exports so far this year, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation. During the first half of this year, pork, beef and lamb exports all showed double-digit volume increases over the same period in 2008.

U.S.pork exports (including variety meat) have been particularly strong, increasing by 46 percent in volume and 44 percent in value over last year.

USMEF Caribbean representative Elizabeth Wunderlich says pork has not only become more popular with the region’s local population, but also with its hotel and restaurant industries. She explains that because Caribbean tourism has been struggling amid the global economic crisis, U.S. pork is providing an appealing, economical alternative for many foodservice providers.

Wunderlich also notes that with only a few exceptions, market access for U.S. pork has been fairly open and reliable in the region.

An audio report from Wunderlich is available from USMEF.