Gov. Ricketts signs pork agreement during Japan trade mission

Gov. Ricketts signs pork agreement during Japan trade mission. (Courtesy, Gov. Pete Ricketts' Office)

Governor Pete Ricketts participated in a signing ceremony at Sagami Restaurant in Tokyo, Japan on behalf of Nebraska’s pork producers on Wednesday, according to a press release from Ricketts' office.

During the ceremony, representatives from Smithfield Foods International Group and Sagami Chain Co. Ltd. signed a Letter of Intent designed to expand the business relationship between the two parties. This expansion will result in the sourcing of pork products by Sagami from Smithfield’s processing plant in Crete, Neb.

“Japan is Nebraska’s largest export market for pork products,” said Governor Ricketts. “Having a high-end restaurant chain such as Sagami and a well-respected pork processor such as Smithfield recommit to their business relationship is a positive sign for Nebraska’s pork producers. We will continue our efforts to increase the sales of our value-added products to bring more opportunities for our farm and ranch families who help grow our state’s number one industry.”

The Sagami Chain has more than 170 restaurants located across Japan. They specialize in deep-fried pork cutlets. A year ago, Sagami CEO Toshiyuki Kamada visited Nebraska to tour the Smithfield facility in Crete.

Earlier in the week, the Governor attended the Midwest U.S. Japan Association annual meeting. The group has since been traveling to various locations in the country to expand business and investment opportunities for Nebraska.

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