November 23, 2006
USMEF cajoles US red meat producers to look at Russian market
The bilateral trade agreement signed this week between the United States and Russia would provide tremendous opportunities for the US livestock and meat industry, president and CEO of the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), Philip M. Seng, said.
However, he cautioned that such opportunities would only be seized if US producers and meat exporters give them recognition.
Convincing US industry to participate in the market would be a challenge due to the delays and difficulties seen with opening and dealing with the Russian market, he said.
However, Seng sought to assure producers through the wide contact network USMEF has build in Russia and its established history of facilitating the meat trade between the two countries.
The Russian market would immediately open to US boneless beef, bone-in beef and beef variety meats from cattle under 30 months of age with an approved export certificate after a plant audit tour by Russian inspectors.
In May 2007, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) General Assembly is expected to make its final decision on the US¡¯ risk-status for BSE, which would further boost US meat sales abroad if it is cleared.
In that case, Russia would reopen to all US beef and beef products from cattle of all ages with OIE designated specified risk materials removed.