The U.S. Department of Agriculture, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, has developed a program to certify processed eggs and egg products for export, providing new opportunities for U.S. food exporters.
"Today's announcement will open new markets for U.S. egg products, generating additional economic benefits and more jobs across rural America,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, in a statement.
The USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will certify a range of products containing eggs, including omelets, frozen egg patties, crepes, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and food containing egg extracts. The total market for U.S. exports of further processed eggs and egg products worldwide is estimated to be $500 million, the agency said.
"This program was developed to help U.S. processors and shippers take advantage of the growing global demand for these products," said AMS Administrator Dave Shipman. "This effort allows producers to obtain certification that some importing countries require and will provide new opportunities for them to market their products globally."
AMS worked with FDA, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), other government agencies, and representatives from processed egg and egg food organizations, including the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council and the United Egg Association, to develop the program. With years of experience certifying eggs for export, AMS will now expand its services to support the trade of egg-containing products.
"A number of countries around the world have asked for certification for egg-containing products. This initiative provides a means for U.S. exporters to access previously untapped markets, creating jobs and supporting USDA's export goals," said FAS Administrator Suzanne Heinen.
Once AMS verifies that a company meets the certification requirements, it will be listed as eligible for export by product and country. An eligible company would contact AMS for an export certificate covering accepted product and identify the foreign country. The certificates and verifications will be completed by AMS on a fee basis.