A study assessing the impact of traceability and animal identification programs on the international market for red meat has been released by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF).
Conducted by researchers at Kansas State University, Colorado State University and Montana State University, the study assesses the potential impact on U.S. producers and processors of evolving thinking about animal ID and traceability in leading export markets and traceability systems that have already been put in place by other major beef and pork exporting countries.
The study – “Economic Assessment of Evolving Red Meat Export Market Access Requirements for Traceability of Livestock and Meat” – points out that the United States and India are the only two major beef exporters that do not already have mandatory traceability systems. Argentina, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Uruguay all have animal identification/traceability programs in place.
U.S. pork producers committed to a swine identification program back in 1987. Then and now, producers and their organizations recognized the role that animal ID plays in assuring traceback abilities to domestic and export markets as well as ensuring the health of the U.S. swine herd.
Today, nearly “100 percent of the estimated swine production sites in the United States have obtained a nationally standardized premises identification number,” according to the National Pork Board.
Worth noting is that Japan and Korea-- among the highest value markets for U.S. pork and beef exports-- have adopted mandatory traceability programs. That could prompt Japan and Korea to require similar actions from countries wanting access to their markets.
The report compares the sanitary and phytosanitary restrictions and illustrates how traceability systems are critical for countries, such as Brazil and Argentina, which face foot-and-mouth disease restrictions, to even have a chance to export meat from FMD-free regions.
The report notes that competing nations are using their industries’ mandatory traceability systems as marketing tools to enhance their sales and as a point of differentiation with the U.S. industry.