Panama Hopes to Resume Beef Exports to US  

Photo of author

By LatAm Reports Editor

Progress in returning to the U.S. market is 70 percent. Anagan stresses that it would be a big leap for the producers.

Export of beef to the United States would boost the Panamanian market and have an increase in the livestock population, said Ovidio Saavedra, president of the National Livestock Association (Anagan).

According to Saavedra, once the necessary sanitary equivalences were achieved, there would be the possibility of exporting $40 million in meat per year to the United States.

“Panama has the capacity to export to the United States. Moreover, when obtaining a good price the livestock population would increase because farmers would take more care to grow their herd to access this market,” Saavedra told Panama America.

The leader recalled that Panama at the time exported meat to this market, but when the military took over the country they were cancelled and the status was lost.

Saavedra added that the way to obtain the health equivalences for export advances by 70% and a related law is expected to be passed.

Sign up to receive exclusive content

Of the remaining 30 per cent everything is complicated.There must be a support law and maintain laboratory tests to have health support. Exporting to that country would be a big leap,” he said.

Anagan’s president explained that Americans would buy the burger meat, taking almost all of the beef. There would be no specific cuts.’

It has no beef to export to the United States for years.

2022

The year Panama began processing health equivalence with the U.S.

The first debate on Bill 924, which is being established by the National Directorate of Food Control, Surveillance and issued other provisions, took place in mid-January. The protection by means of a law of this direction is key to resuming the export process to the US.

Dr. Reynaldo Lee Mathurín, director of Food Control and Veterinary Surveillance at Minsa, said that the time for Panama to achieve equivalence could be less than the 5 and a half years it usually takes. Panama began this procedure on January 18, 2022.

The health professional acknowledged that this is a complex process, which has kept the country for 40 years without achieving exports to this North American country.

However, they have managed to get the Ministry of Health (Minsa) and the Ministry of Agricultural Development (Mida) to work together to adapt the laboratory.

“In the first year we had to do tests according to the volume of sacrifice. Of the 1,600 samples, only seven came out positive for a microbiological component and of the 1,400 for toxic waste, none came out positive,” Lee told the state channel.

According to Lee, this is an indicator that the producer is doing his job in the proper use of medicines and that the required controls are made in slaughter plants.

The official stressed that the possibility of exporting meat to the United States provides an opportunity to reach multiple markets, due to the weight of the US seal.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Panamerica