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Embassy Event Marks Reopening of Guatemala to U.S. Lamb

Published: Jun 01, 2017

Marking the reopening of the Guatemalan market to U.S. lamb, USMEF sponsored a dinner at the home of U.S. Ambassador Todd Robinson. Importers, foodservice distributors and chefs from the country’s growing HRI sector gathered to learn more about the availability of the product and sample U.S. lamb dishes.

Todd Robinson, U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala, greets attendees to a dinner marking the resumption of U.S. lamb imports

The event was funded by the USDA Market Access Program (MAP).

U.S. lamb became eligible for export to Guatemala in December and earlier this year the Guatemalan Ministry of Agriculture (MAGA) officially notified the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) that the export certificate will be accepted for U.S. lamb imports. The official notification was in response to FAS efforts to get a clear import protocol in place from MAGA after the product became eligible.

U.S. lamb was prepared and served to guests at a dinner at the home of U.S. Ambassador Todd Robinson

Although Guatemala is not yet a large consumer of lamb, there is a niche market within the hotel and restaurant industry where chefs are eager to add it as a menu option.

Information about U.S. lamb was shared with importers, traders and chefs who attended the dinner

The U.S. is currently the only country authorized to export lamb to Guatemala.

“We will promote U.S. lamb in Guatemala through marketing activities and culinary demonstrations, developing new recipes for upscale restaurants and hotels in Guatemala, which regularly host tourists with an interest in lamb,” said Gerardo Rodriguez, USMEF marketing director in Mexico, Central America and the Dominican Republic. “Another promising development is that Walmart has expressed interest in adding lamb to meat cases at high-end stores in Guatemala City and possibly other parts of the country.”

The U.S. lamb event had significant coverage in the Guatemalan media and was featured on the U.S. Embassy’s Facebook page.

Robinson, who addressed attendees during the dinner, described the opening to U.S. lamb as “a good opportunity to obtain another quality American product in Guatemala.”

Todd Drennan, agricultural advisor to the U.S. Embassy in Guatemala, told the crowd that U.S. lamb will be a welcome addition in Guatemala and noted that the reopening to U.S. lamb “is a victory that shows Guatemala’s willingness to correct policies that acted as technical barriers to trade.”

Guatemalan chef Pablo Lou, who prepared U.S. lamb dishes for the dinner, highlighted the attributes of the product, noting that it may not be as common as beef or pork but is an excellent protein source.