U.S. Concerns Addressed in Mexico's Beef Grading Standards
When the standards were first proposed in 2017, the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) raised concerns in comments submitted to Mexico’s Secretariat of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA). USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom explains that USMEF and others in the U.S. beef industry specifically objected to how English grade names could be used interchangeably with Spanish names, which could create confusion in the marketplace and diminish the value derived from the USDA grading system.
Halstrom notes that SAGARPA addressed these concerns in the final version of its standards, as U.S. grade names are no longer included and Mexico’s grades are not presented as equivalent to U.S. or other grades. He said this is a notable improvement over the original proposal and a win for the U.S. industry, which has worked for many years to differentiate U.S. beef in this key export market.
Mexico's standards are set to enter into force 180 days after publication, but might require more time due to the process of approving a certification organization and subsequent training and testing of prospective carcass graders.