US wins key farm export health battle

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has announced that the government of Morocco has agreed to allow commercial imports of US poultry meat and products into Morocco for the first time.

This is a key development for the US in that the new agreement overturns Morocco’s previous rejection of US poultry imports on food safety grounds, despite the existence of a free trade agreement between the two countries.

“This new access to the Moroccan market is an important step in ensuring that American farmers and ranchers can continue to expand their exports,” said US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer (pictured above). “I welcome Morocco’s agreement to allow imports of US poultry meat and products and the economic opportunities that will be afforded to US producers.”

US Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, also welcomed the agreement, adding: “Opening new markets for American poultry and other agricultural products is a top priority. I am convinced that when the Moroccan people get a taste of US poultry, they’re going to want more of it.

“The products that will be imported into Morocco are safe, wholesome, and very delicious. This is also a good harbinger of the kind of relationship that can be developed. We hope there are other things we can cooperate on as USDA works to expand markets around the globe.”

The US is the world’s second largest poultry exporter, with global sales of poultry meat and products of $4.3 billion last year.

Initial estimates indicate that Morocco will be a $10 million market for the US, with capacity for additional growth over time.

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About The Author

John Swire - Deputy editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is a season ticket holder at Stoke City and also of late has become a fitness freak, listing cycling, swimming and walking as his exercises of choice. Colin Ley - News reporter