Brazil approved for pork exports to USA
The United States dropped barriers to imports of Brazilian pork after roughly a year-and-a-half of working to guarantee the meat will comply with sanitary standards.
The US Department of Agriculture recognized Brazilian inspectors as capable of approving slaughterhouses in Santa Catarina state to export raw pork to the US, Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said in a press release.
Cooked or processed pork from some other Brazilian states may also be exported via meatpacking plants in Santa Catarina, which the Agriculture Ministry says has been free of foot-and-mouth disease since 2001.
Pedro de Camargo Neto, president of pork-industry association Abipecs, said the USDA's decision "finalizes a long process of authorization for Brazilian exports."
Neto doesn't foresee large volumes of pork being shipped to the US. The Agriculture Ministry now has to decide which slaughterhouses meet the norms.
The US agreed in June 2010 to allow pork imports as part of a broader pact to resolve a dispute over US cotton subsidies.
Later in 2010, the USDA recognized Santa Catarina as free of foot-and-mouth disease; however USDA remained concerned that Brazil didn't have enough federal inspectors to monitor the state's meatpacking plants.
In 2011, Brazil exported 516,419 metric tons of pork, down 4.4% from the previous year, with the biggest destinations being Hong Kong and Russia. The value of the exports rose 7% last year to $1.43 billion.
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