There is some genuine beef at Hofex 2007, and some of it comes from the United States. This is the first biennial hospitality show since the ban on importing US beef to Hong Kong was lifted at the end of 2005. US Meat Export Federation will set up a booth at the fair through its Hong Kong office, promoting various meat products from the US, including some premium beef from Meyer Natural Angus. 'The company is new to this market and it is looking to get into the high-end niche,' Joel Haggard, the federation's vice-president, Asia-Pacific, said. Meyer produces from its ranch in Helmville, Montana, what it calls 'true' natural Angus. The company started a programme of Red Angus genetics in 1990 through embryo transplants and artificial insemination, and keeps extensive records on the lineage and performance of the bulls and calves to help predict and control the quality of a bull's progeny. The cattle are corn fed and never administered antibiotics or growth hormones, and the condition of the ranch has also won recognition from the non-profit Humane Farm Animal Care's certification programme. Japanese Wagyu is coming back to Hong Kong this month after a five-year ban, but Mr Haggard said that even the highest grade of USDA prime was about half the price of Japan's 'super premium' beef exported to Hong Kong, so the competition was not as direct. Prime steaks are an icon of the US beef industry but the real profitability lies in the more mass-produced foodstuffs. 'Most of what our federation imports are the underutilised cuts, like the rib items and shoulder items. We do tremendous business in Korean barbecue items, shabu shabu and hotpot items,' he said. There are also the supermarkets. 'Most of the premium chilled beef in supermarkets is Australian because it has the right price point that generally appeals to the mass market. But we have been pushing very hard to get US beef back into supermarkets. We've had hundreds of promotion days that have paid off very well.' US beef was banished from Hong Kong for years, but for the first quarter of this year it has risen to No4 in import volume against beef from other countries. The federation's Hofex booth, designed to resemble the American Old West, will also showcase many pork products, including prime loin, Kurobuta and processed items such as sausages, minced meat patties, marinated roasts and pre-cooked bacon. 'It's bacon that can be heated up in the microwave, which adds convenience to breakfast buffet operations at hotels.'