Meeting in Washington DC, delegates headed to a number of facilities to gain understanding of a variety of aspects in the sector. These included: Food Safety and Inspection Service inspection requirements; Port of Entry requirements; Shiga Toxin-Producing E.Coli (STEC) testing requirements and procedures; and increasing awareness of the US marketplace and typical challenges facing overseas importers.
The trip marked a significant step in preparing for an official inspection visit from US representatives to the UK, expected to happen during 2017.
“The industry representatives found the visit very worthwhile and the preliminary training puts us in a good position to ensure we are able to agree equivalence between UK and US regulatory requirements when the inspection visit takes place,” explained Dr Phil Hadley, head of global supply chain development at the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef & Lamb.
The visit was organised by AHDB, alongside Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales, Quality Meat Scotland, the Livestock & Meat Commission Northern Ireland and the British Embassy in the US.
“The dynamic US market offers significant opportunities for UK beef and lamb at a time when it’s particularly important for us to develop new markets alongside ensuring we maintain demand in existing markets,” said Hadley.