The United States Department of Agriculture has announced that starting May 28th 2013, importers are free to import cured pork products from some regions of Italy. This is after a ban that lasted many years prompted by the fear that pork products from Italy could potentially contain swine vascular disease. The announcement was made after the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Unit completed an assessment in 4 main areas that produce cured pork products in Italy. Currently, the US imports an average of $90 million worth of some kinds of cold cut products from Italy and it is expected that once the ban is lifted, imports will increase by between $9 and $13 million.
What has changed and what cured meats you can import to USA.
The areas that were cleared were all in the northern part of Italy and they include Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piemonte, Trento and Bolzano. These areas have not been able to export some pork products to the United States since the ‘70’s and this will be a big boost in trade for them. Although many people in both countries are looking forward to the lifting of the ban, some remain skeptical. They have two main areas of concern. The first is that although the Inspection Services say that Italian cold cuts can now be imported into the US, they have not specified exactly what standards producers are required to meet. The second area of concern is whether these products will be able to meet US importation guidelines when it comes to listeria, salmonella and ecoli. So far, only a few big producers in Northern Italy are able to meet these standards. And certification isn’t cheap either – to meet the guidelines, producers need to pay $100,000.
Some people are also worried that the vigorous standards required for importation of pork products like Parma ham and salami may also interfere in the quality of the products. This may be true because to meet the standards, Italian producers may have to slightly alter the way they have always made these products.
No More Smuggling
Other reactions were regarding the balance of trade; so long as Italians are able to export cold cuts into the US, they should also agree to import beef products. As of today, the US cannot export beef and other meat products into Italy. And of course American Italians had their say too; now, they will be able to enjoy pork products just like those that Italians in Italy are making. Now, they say, they no longer have to smuggle in salami for personal consumption.
The Role of Emilia Delizia in importing cured meats into North America.
Our company built hundred of connections with local producers in the Parma/Modena/Bologna area. If you are interested in importing Parma Ham, Culatello, Salame di Felino and so on into the U.S. we are here to help. We can be your direct contact with the producers and also research to find the right product for your business. Please not hesitate to contact us for more information.