US celebrates renewed Japanese beef access

GLOBAL BEEF RI Farm
BARBECUE: US Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue serves American-style barbecue to consumers in Tokyo. PICTURE: USDA

AMERICAN Agriculture Secretary Perdue travelled to Tokyo for a barbecue as the US celebrated regaining full access to the Japanese beef market.

US Meat Export Federation (USMEF) director in Japan, Takemichi Yamashoji, says Perdue made a positive impression.

“Having him attend the event helped put a face on American agriculture and bolstered our efforts to build trust among Japanese consumers,” he says.

The move came as Perdue announced the US and Japan have agreed to end Japan’s longstanding restrictions on US beef exports, paving the way for expanded sales to the Americans’ top global beef market.

This after Perdue met Japanese government officials and affirmed the importance of science-based trade rules.

Japan banned US beef and beef products following the detection of a BSE-positive animal in the US in 2003.

The new rules take effect immediately, allowing US products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan.

“We are hopeful that Japan’s decision will help lead other markets around the world toward science-based policies,” Purdue says.

USMEF president and chief executive Dan Halstrom says while most of the US beef shipped to Japan will continue to be from fed cattle under 30 months of age, the opportunities for over 30 month beef cuts and beef variety meat are significant.

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