Philadelphia brings Uruguayan lamb to U.S.
This month, Philadelphia welcomed the first shipment of lamb from Uruguay since 2001.
On Wednesday, Philadelphia and foreign officials celebrated the first Uruguayan import of lamb to the United States in more than ten years. The 11-ton shipment arrived at Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia on March 8 after more than five years of collaboration with the USDA to regulate production to determine the safety of importing meat from Uruguay and to protect against Foot and Mouth Disease.
U.S. import qualifications range from consistent factory inspections to adequate pH levels of the meat, all of which were agreed upon last November by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and Uruguayan agricultural officials. Imports ceased in 2001 due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease that spread from Argentina.
"The opening of the U.S. market for Uruguayan lamb meat is considered strategic given the high standards of requirements, the price level, high competition conditions and excellent prospects for the placement of other met cuts in the future," Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Relations Luis Almagro said.
Each year, Uruguay exports around $2 billion in wool and woolen goods. The country has two times as many sheep as people. Now, The Philadelphia Regional Port Authority will continue to receive shipments from Firgorifico San Jacinto Company of various boneless lamb cuts to be distributed in the United States, although the USDA estimated that no more than 2,000 metric tons per year will enter the country.