US - The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced this week a new agreement with Israel to lift the ban on US beef imports for the first time since 2003.
Shipments will come from Nebraska’s WR Reserve plant in Hastings.
Since December 2003, Israel has banned beef imports from the United States due to a confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).
Nebraskan US Senator Deb Fischer said: “Nebraska beef producers are the best in the world. This historic agreement with Israel is a testament to our producers’ tireless commitment to delivering safe, high-quality beef products to dinner tables around the globe.
"I was pleased to work with the USDA and the Israeli government to enable our state to supply the first American beef shipments to Israel in over a decade.”
US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro said: “Resuming US beef exports to Israel has been a high priority for me since I arrived to Israel.
"Today marks a significant milestone in US-Israel trade relations and is an outstanding example of the power of the US government working collaboratively with the private sector to achieve our foreign economic policy objectives.
"This agreement gives Israeli consumers access to the world’s highest quality beef. At the same time, it creates and supports jobs in the great state of Nebraska. Later this year, we hope to serve USDA - certified beef at our July 4th celebrations, for the first time in nearly 13 years.”
Barb Cooksley, president of the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association, released the following statement: “We are pleased the first kosher beef from the US to return to the Israel market since 2003 will be from Nebraska.
"Nebraska Cattlemen appreciates Senator Fischer’s work to help get the market reopened. This is another example demonstrating she understands how important trade is to ranchers, feeders, processors, and all Nebraskans.”
According to the USDA, in 2014, Israel imported beef products worth $405 million. Ninety-five percent of these imports originated in Latin America.
TheCattleSite News Desk