Background Banner

South Africa Now Open to U.S. Pork

Published: Mar 02, 2016

On Feb. 26, South Africa reopened to U.S. pork. U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Senior Vice President for Global Marketing Dan Halstrom says that although access to the market is still somewhat restricted, USMEF sees potential opportunities for U.S. pork cuts in South Africa’s meat processing and retail sectors. He explains that with South Africa also reopening to U.S. beef earlier this year, having both products eligible will add momentum to USMEF’s market development efforts. USMEF also recently began exploring opportunities for U.S. red meat in emerging markets in West Africa.


Joe Schuele: After many months of negotiations, South Africa is now open to U.S. pork. Dan Halstrom, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) Senior Vice President for Global Marketing, has more details in this USMEF report.

Dan Halstrom: We’re excited, this has been a long time in coming, a lot of people working on regaining access for pork in South Africa. We see it as a real viable opportunity, especially for some of the key cuts that go into both further processing, as well as retail. Picnics, shoulders, butts – things like this from the shoulder end of the hog. We know that there will be interest in those products. The only drawback is that it’s a start, anyway. We’re not open to variety meats yet, hopefully that’s something that can come in the future, but we’re really happy about having the opportunity to start with the pork primal cuts.

Joe Schuele: South Africa opened to U.S. beef in January and Halstrom said having both species eligible with give more momentum to USMEF’s marketing efforts, not only in South Africa but elsewhere on the continent.

Dan Halstrom: Without a doubt. In fact, USMEF was down in South Africa several weeks ago meeting with the trade, knowing that we had access on beef and that pork was close. I would say the trade is very excited about the potential for both beef and pork into the market. On the beef side, it’s a two-prong market. We have a definite market for the high end foodservice, and most definitely there’s a market for the lower end, things like beef livers, for example. So we’re excited on both fronts. We’ve been working on this West Africa initiative for over two years now, specifically focused on some key markets that are large markets currently for poultry. Markets like Ghana and Benin, Angola. As these economies continue to develop they’re going to advance beyond poultry and are going to want beef and pork, as well, and we’re already starting to see that. So there’s absolutely no doubt that having South Africa now open to our products will definitely give us much more visibility.

Joe Schuele: For more on this and other trade issues, please visit For the U.S. Meat Export Federation, I’m Joe Schuele.