Dominican Republic aims to export RD$690 million in meat in 5 years

The Dominican Republic is preparing to achieve equivalence for meat exports to the United States with the projection of placing 3,000 tons annually or RD$690 million in the first 5 years, for which it must pass the inspection to be carried out by the Department of Agriculture and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the United States (APHIS) in three industrial slaughterhouses on September 13.

This was reported by Enrique de Castro, president of the Dominican Association of Beef Cattle Producers (ASOCARNE), who detailed that the visit of the US mission is a major milestone expected for 21 years and achieving it has required hard work of preparation and adaptation to comply with US regulations on traceability and biosecurity by slaughterhouses, producers and the public sector.

“Since 2014 we have been working to achieve compliance with the high standards required by the American government to receive the meat produced in the Dominican Republic and we are ready to pass the inspection at the slaughterhouse level, so we hope to soon be able to receive the certification and ship the first containers,” explained De Castro.

The mission will be composed of technicians from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and the United States Department of Agriculture and will visit the slaughterhouses of AGROCARNE, MERCARNE and Suplidora de Carne A & B to validate compliance with regulations and biosecurity standards in the slaughter and processing of beef carcasses that will allow export from the Dominican Republic to that market.

The Dominican Republic’s Equivalence project to export beef to the United States is a joint effort of the Dominican Association of Beef Cattle Producers (ASOCARNE), the Dominican Association of Ranchers and Farmers (ADHA), Project Strengthening the Value Chain of Dominican Livestock (Progana), the Association of Slaughterhouses and the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, with the support of the Presidency of the Republic.

“This is an important achievement for the country and producers, it is estimated that in the first year 40 thousand pounds of meat would be exported monthly, which are equivalent to 1-2% of national production. We must look at ourselves in the mirror of Nicaragua, which did not export meat in the mid 90’s, now exports over 400 million dollars a year”, said De Castro.

The commission to achieve the Export of Beef to the United States is composed of Alexis Alonzo, bovine advisor to the President of the Republic; María Gómez, Coordinator of the Meat Export Commission; Enrique de Castro, president of the Dominican Association of Beef Cattle Producers (ASOCARNE); Julio de Beras, president of the Dominican Association of Farmers and Ranchers (ADHA), and Ricardo Barceló, past president of the ADHA.

In addition, José Álvarez, for Mercarne; Miguel Miolán, for Agrocarne, Central Romana Corporation; Dr. Luis Martínez, in charge of the food department of the Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Jaime Santoni, in charge of the Meat Unit of the Ministry of Public Health; Dr. Rafael Núñez, director of the Animal Health Department of the General Directorate of Livestock; Cesáreo Guillermo, director of Progana, and Rubén Hernández, of the Ministry of Agriculture.

De Castro urged meat producers to get up to date with production methods, traceability and biosecurity, in addition to preparing their production to be served in the slaughterhouses that will be certified so that in the medium term everyone can benefit from this important commercial opening.

No price increase for Dominicans
In response to questions that this measure will increase beef prices for Dominicans, De Castro said that “what will be exported are the forequarters, that is to say, the industrial beef. The cuts of meat that are regularly consumed by the population will remain in the country. This meat from the forequarters is not used in the domestic sausage industry, which prefers to import chicken trimmings and others for its production”.

He said that exporting will be beneficial because it will allow producers to earn more money, and will increase interest in increasing the quality of the product and the volume of production in the meat industry, as has happened with other products.

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