LMC CEO welcomes positive step for beef exports to USA
Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC) has welcoming the news that the UK beef industry agreed equivalence of standards on the UK’s control measures following a three-week inspection last summer.
LMC’s chief executive, Ian Stevenson said: “This agreement of equivalence in standards is the result of a long period of hard work and collaboration from industry and government representatives. Without the diligence, professionalism and commitment of DAERA alongside the cooperation and willing assistance from NIMEA and of course our other UK counterparts and members of the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) this process would simply not have been successful. The inspections in August 2019 included tours of five beef sites, four pork and one lamb from across the UK, as well as several laboratories.
“Gaining this access to the US market is extremely positive and will allow our beef export business to actively pursue new opportunities for our high quality, safe and certified beef industry.
The USDA first cleared the way for the EU to resume beef exports to the US when it aligned it’s BSE regulations with international standards in 2014. Following this decision each EU country had to be inspected on a case-by-case basis and only a handful, including ROI, have achieved this to date. Following the developments last week the UK is now a closer to joining ROI as a supplier of beef to the US. Work will continue on gaining similar access for sheepmeat.
“Gaining this access to the US market is extremely positive and will allow our beef export business to actively pursue new opportunities for our high quality, safe and certified beef industry.”
Currently, the UK has 11 certified plants that produce and export raw pork products to the US. Before last year’s audit UK authorities provided FSIS with 10 additional establishments across the UK intending, but not yet certified, to export raw beef or sheep meat to the US.
Continuing to praise the efforts of those involved in bringing about the signing of this Protocol, Ian added: “LMC has been participating in the work of the UKECP for over 10 years. Achieving market access to the US for UK beef exporters has been one of the key priorities for government and industry members of the partnership and this exciting development is testament to the hard work of everyone involved in the process.”