Audio: Beef Exports to Egypt Face Potential Obstacle

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Egypt is the second-largest market for U.S. beef variety meat (behind Mexico) and the largest destination for U.S. beef livers.

All U.S. beef entering Egypt must be halal-certified, and exporters previously contracted with any one of six approved entities to provide this certification. But effective May 1, the government of Egypt recognizes only one approved halal certifier. Paul Clayton, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) senior vice president for export services, explains that this could disrupt exports to Egypt, though USMEF is working with USDA and its member companies to keep product moving as smoothly as possible.

Last year the volume of livers exported to Egypt exceeded 54,000 metric tons, accounting for 65% of all U.S. liver exports. But this was down from a peak of 82% in 2015, and Clayton says USMEF has been working for several years to develop a wider range of markets for beef livers, which includes South Africa, Peru and Colombia. He notes that Tunisia, which recently opened to U.S. beef, is also a potential market for U.S. livers.

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The U.S. Meat Export Federation ( is the trade association responsible for developing international markets for the U.S. red meat industry. It is funded by USDA; the beef, pork, lamb, corn and soybean checkoff programs, as well as its members representing nine industry sectors: beef/veal producing & feeding, pork producing & feeding, lamb producing & feeding, packing & processing, purveying & trading, oilseeds producing, feedgrains producing, farm organizations and supply & service organizations.