Pork exports feature in new US agreement with South Africa

The US and South Africa (SA) have reached a last-minute agreement on meat exports from the US into SA which includes a concession on pork and will ensure that EU exporters will, from now on, face competition in SA from the US.

The new deal effectively clears previous barriers to US pork, beef and poultry entering the SA market, with SA trade and industry minister, Rob Davies, declaring that all relevant trade documents are now “signed off” and that all “outstanding issues have been resolved”.

“With regard to pork,” added the minister, “SA has agreed to permit the unrestricted importation of shoulder cuts after the US agreed to apply mitigation measures, including the removal of risk material before exportation to SA.”

US agriculture secretary, Tom Vilsack, said that “re-gaining” assess to SA for exports of poultry, pork and beef followed intense US government engagement with SA officials over the last year.

“Only a limited number of US poultry and meat products have been exported to SA in recent years, due to unwarranted sanitary requirements by the SA authorities, with most poultry exports blocked for the last 15 years,” he said. “With this renewed access for US red meat and poultry products, US exports to SA could generate $75 million (£51.5m) of shipments annually.

“This is good news for American farmers and ranchers and poultry, pork and beef companies. We welcome this move by SA and will continue our efforts to break down barriers and expand access for high-quality, safe and wholesome US food and agricultural products around the world. With this agreement, SA reaffirms the scientific soundness and integrity of the US system for ensuring animal health and food safety, and this will result in high-quality US meat and poultry being available to SA consumers.”

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