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Audio: Ecuador Lifts BSE Ban on U.S. Beef

Published: Mar 31, 2014
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You may download the audio file here

Ecuador recently became the latest market to reopen to U.S. beef exports, after being closed for more than 10 years due to BSE. Cheyenne Dixon, U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) technical services manager, explains that U.S. beef exports to Ecuador now face very few restrictions, with muscle cuts and offal items from cattle of all ages being eligible. The only significant constraint involves beef derived from cattle imported from Canada, in which case the animal must be in the United States for 60 days prior to slaughter.

In addition to providing high-quality beef cuts for the hotel and restaurant sector, USMEF expects U.S. exporters to find success in Ecuador with variety meat items such as beef tripe, livers and hearts. Introductory seminars are planned in late April for Ecuadorian importers – one in the capital city of Quito and one in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil (pronounced WHY-UH-KIL).

Ecuador’s reopening adds a fourth destination for U.S. exporters serving South America. Peru took $32.8 million in U.S. beef exports in 2013 and has been a reliable market for several years, especially for beef variety meat items. Chile ($68.6 million in 2013) emerged as a key export market over the past three years following a temporary closure to Paraguayan beef (due to foot-and-mouth disease) and a lack of reliable supplies from Argentina. Following implementation of a new free trade agreement, Colombia burst on the scene last year with U.S. exports nearly tripling to $9.1 million.


Joe Schuele: Ecuador is the latest country to reopen to U.S. Beef after having been closed for more than a decade due to BSE. In this U.S. Meat Export Federation report, we take a closer look at this issue with USMEF Manage of Technical Services, Cheyenne Dixon. She says that while the reopening of Ecuador was a long time coming, exports of U.S. beef will face very few restrictions.

Cheyenne Dixon: in 2003 we had numerous markets that fully closed to U.S. beef in the event of our first case of BSE, Ecuador was one of those countries that did have a full ban on U.S. beef up until a couple of weeks ago, but we did finally gain full access to Ecuador. What that means is that we have no age restrictions on the cattle that can be used to produce product for export to Ecuador, and there are also no product restrictions. So all muscle cuts and all offals are eligible, which is a huge bonus in this market where we expect to send quite a bit of offal products. The only restriction that is in place is that Canadian cattle that are used must have been in the U.S. for at least 60 days. This is something that we hope is temporary and the government continues to negotiate with Ecuador officials on. Other than that all cattle, from any ages are eligible.

Joe Schuele: In addition to providing high quality beef cuts to Ecuador’s hotel and restaurant industries, USMEF expects U.S. exporters to find success in Ecuador with variety meat items such as beef: tripe, livers, and hearts. Plans are already in place for promotional events to introduce Ecuadorian importers to U.S. beef including two seminars to be held in late April.

Cheyenne Dixon: The U.S. ambassador to Ecuador has initiated two receptions that will be held in two Ecuador cities, one in Quito, and the other in Guayaquil, so we will be attending those to start the dialogue meeting with some importers and try to search out some of the product opportunities there.

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