U.S.D.A. egg certification program seen aiding exports
by Laura Lloyd
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Agriculture, collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration, has undertaken a program that will certify processed eggs and egg products for export, providing new opportunities for U.S. food exporters.
The U.S.D.A.’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will certify a wide variety of foods containing eggs, such as omelets, frozen egg patties, crepes, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise and food containing egg extracts, responding to requests from a number of countries at a time when U.S. agricultural exports are at historic highs.
The certification program is seen as a way to increase U.S. exports of egg and egg-based products. The total market for U.S. exports of further processed eggs and egg products is estimated to be $500 million worldwide.
“This effort allows producers to obtain certification that some importing countries require and will provide new opportunities for them to market their products globally,” said Dave Shipman, an administrator with the A.M.S.
“A number of countries around the world have asked for certification for egg-containing products,” said Suzanne Heinen, an administrator with the F.A.S. “This initiative provides a means for U.S. exporters to access previous untapped markets, creating jobs and supporting USDA’s export goals.”
To develop the initiative, the A.M.S. collaborated with the Food and Drug Administration, the F.A.S., other government agencies and representatives from processed egg and egg food organizations such as the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council and the United Egg Association.
The A.M.S. has special capabilities allowing it to develop export certification programs that meet the specific requirements of foreign countries. With years of experience certifying eggs for export, the A.M.S. will now expand its services to support the trade of egg-containing products, the U.S.D.A. said.
“Once A.M.S. verifies that a company meets the established certification requirements, the company will be listed as eligible for export by product and country,” the U.S.D.A. said. “An eligible company would contact A.M.S. for an export certificate covering accepted product and identify the foreign country.”