The United States and Mexico have agreed on several meat processing and storage facilities to accommodate exports, according to the American Meat Institute.
The agreement is the result of 18 months of discussion between USDA's Food Safety Inspection and Service and Mexico's food safety agency, SAGARPA. It involves a total of 109 U.S. meat industry facilities, from which 52 have gotten approval to export product to Mexico. Another 57 facilities are expected to be approved within the next week, according to AMI.
This new action follows SAGARPA approvals of administrative changes at 32 U.S. facilities. As AMI officials point out, these administrative changes, which might involve plant name changes or other paperwork issues, had the potential to create export delays at the border.
In Mexico, 13 facilities have been approved, although four are pending corrective action. This will bring Mexico's total to more than 30 meat facilities that are approved to export product to the United States.
USDA is hoping to schedule additional technical meetings in the next week or so to address cross border issues, plant re-listings and other technical issues, according to AMI.
Source: AMI, Meatingplace.com