USMEF Report: Progress for U.S. Beef Access in Saudi Arabia, but Obstacles Remain


Jody Heemstra, DRGNews (SD)

Apr 6, 2021


Pierre, SD, USA / The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) recently approved a regulation increasing the shelf life for chilled beef sold in Saudi Arabia by 50 days, with the new standard being 120 days from the date of slaughter. This is a significant development for U.S. exporters, as the former, 70-day shelf life limit had been a source of frustration for several years.


Travis Arp, U.S. Meat Export Federation senior director of export services/access, explains that the 70-day shelf life was inadequate for chilled beef shipped by ocean freight, because it did not allow enough time for the product to make it through commercial channels to the end user. This meant U.S. beef either had to be shipped by air, at significantly higher cost, or had to be shipped frozen.


Arp notes that USMEF continues to work with U.S. trade officials on other market access obstacles in Saudi Arabia, where U.S. beef exports had achieved steady growth until trade was suspended in 2012 following a BSE case in California. The market reopened to U.S. beef in 2016, but...


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