Skip to main content

USDA Keeps Dairy Exports Flowing to Morocco

Posted by Diane Lewis, Director, Grading and Standards Division of the Agricultural Marketing Service's Dairy Program in Trade
Feb 21, 2017
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and its sister agencies work to keep markets open to U.S. products.  Recently, an interagency team resolved an issue with Morocco, keeping a $126 million market open for American butter, cheese and other dairy products.
USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and its sister agencies work to keep markets open to U.S. products. Recently, an interagency team resolved an issue with Morocco, keeping a $126 million market open for American butter, cheese and other dairy products.

U.S. agricultural exports continue to be a bright spot for America’s economy, worth a record $152.5 billion in fiscal year 2014.  That’s why USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and its sister agencies work so hard to keep these export markets open.  So in 2011, when Morocco requested that USDA use a new dairy export certificate that we could not endorse, we launched into action.  Our goal was to protect an export market worth $126 million annually while preserving our close relationship with a valued trading partner.

Morocco is the 13th largest export market for our dairy products, and U.S. dairy exports are the fastest growing export category to that country.  U.S. companies export many dairy commodities to Morocco, such as butter, cheese and skim milk powder, as well as dairy ingredients such as milk protein and whey protein products.

However, in 2011 Morocco’s agricultural officials requested changes to the information provided on the dairy export certificates issued by the unit I direct, the Grading and Standards Division of within the AMS Dairy Program.  Most countries importing U.S. dairy products require these certificates, and issuing them is one of many services my Division provides to exporters to maintain and expand market access.

As a stopgap measure, we began using a general dairy certificate to keep that market open.  But then, in April 2014, following numerous detainments of U.S. dairy shipments, we learned that Morocco was considering stopping all U.S. dairy trade if we did not submit a specifically negotiated export certificate.

Beginning in 2011, the AMS Dairy Program worked closely with an existing interagency team of technical experts from AMS, USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to address the issue.  The team submitted a response to Morocco that addressed additives, animal health issues, microbiological criteria and thermal treatment processes, as well as a proposed AMS Sanitary Certificate for Exports for Milk and Milk Products for Human Consumption to Morocco that reflected all the suggested changes.

On November 12, 2014, we received the good news that the government of Morocco had accepted the proposed certificate—without further revision, concluding more than three years of negotiations.  The certificate’s acceptance means this important market will remain open to U.S. exports, paving the way for an even better year for the U.S. dairy industry.

USDA and AMS are no strangers to keeping U.S. export markets open.  In 2013, the same interagency team responded quickly to changes in China’s regulatory requirements for U.S. dairy exports.  Their work helped to secure a market worth $1 billion annually.

We’re committed to keeping dairy and all other U.S. agricultural exports flowing.  By maintaining and expanding export markets, we help to strengthen our rural communities that produce the high-quality, American-grown products consumers worldwide desire.  And that’s good for everyone.

Category/Topic: Trade

Write a Response

CAPTCHA This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Comments

MLM
Jan 11, 2015

Animals eat animals, people do not eat animals. --Found Christ teachings. Wake up, stop the evil use of others, the diet is part of the way, don't fail in the school of life.
Using others for Dairy is not treating others as we would want to be treated, and for that reason it is an evil. Bulls- daddy cows, mama cows , and baby cows -calves, all are misused in the capita system of dairy and slaughter . Yet, we are all family. Also, a plant based life respecting diet is more healthy for all. Christ teachings and others need to be obeyed -Love the Lord Thy God, Love Your Brother/Sister, and be harmless as doves. Feed my sheep the sheep food.

Michael
Feb 17, 2016

How can I reach out and have a quick chat with you Diane? I'm interested in helping small to medium sized exporters ease the process of on boarding new diary distributors, using software automation to streamline the entire registration process. Any help or guidance would be appreciated. Thanks