The U.S. and Russia have reached an agreement to reopen the Russian market to U.S. pork and pork products, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative have been in negotiations with the Russian Veterinary Service since December 2009, when Russia closed its market to U.S. pork. These negotiations led to the development of a new veterinary certificate to ensure that pork exports from the United States meet specific Russian requirements.
U.S. plants that want to export to Russia must apply for approval with the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). AMS and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), have developed an Export Verification (EV) program for pork to Russia to address specific product requirements. AMS is expected to approve the first plants as early as next week. FSIS will then provide Russian authorities with a list of approved U.S. pork facilities.
The re-opening of this export market was a very positive development for the United States pork industry - which had a reputation for safety worldwide, said AMI President and CEO J. Patrick Boyle.
Russia imported $257 million worth — six percent — of U.S. pork and pork variety meat exports last year.
Source: AMI – American Meat Institute