This week’s audio report from the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) discusses Israel’s recent decision to reopen to US beef. This will be the first time the country has allow US beef imports since December 2003, when the first confirmed case of BSE in the United States led many countries, including Israel, to suspend imports of U.S. beef. Israel is one of the last countries to lift its BSE-related restrictions.
In the audio report, USMEF President and CEO Philip Seng discusses the challenges presented from the strict kosher slaughter and handling requirements Israel imposes on its beef suppliers, some potential opportunities in the market for some U.S. companies, and highlights the significance of another BSE-related market closure coming to an end.
“Israel is an important ally to the United States, and it was the first country that we ever did a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with, and I think that alone is important,” said Seng. “And after all of these years from BSE to have Israel now accepting US products again is very important.”
Israel currently receives a majority of its beef from South American suppliers. Argentina and Uruguay currently supply the most beef to Israel, followed by Brazil and Paraguay.
On Friday, Jan. 15, South Africa also reopened to U.S. beef for the first time since 2003. USMEF is still examining the terms of this reopening.
Listen to the full report here:
USMEF Audio Report, Israel Reopening to US Beef