USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service has the vital mission helping market American agricultural products competitively in the marketplace. One way AMS meets this mission is through our globally recognized meat standards. AMS has participated in the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for many years to help develop global agricultural quality standards that facilitate trade – essentially ensuring everyone speaks the same trade language.
Recently, AMS traveled to Serbia to provide technical assistance to the Serbian Government and meat industry. In cooperation with the USDA’s Foreign Agriculture Service (FAS), AMS has worked with Serbia to help modernize their meat standards and specifications.
With Serbia’s new standards in place, the effort has shifted to focus more on engaging the meat industry stakeholders. AMS is helping Serbian stakeholders become familiar with the new specifications and how to implement the system across the country.
AMS participated in a series of meetings with Serbian meat industry stakeholders that represented the government, industry and academia.
During the Serbian trip, AMS officials participated in engaging stakeholders in the field, visiting technical institutes and some farms. The first visit was at the Institute for Animal Husbandry where we toured the analytical laboratory where they are doing work on pork fat quality, and we also toured their meat processing facilities.
Group meetings were held to discuss how things are done in the U.S., what challenges our industry has faced over the years, and the hurdles facing the Serbian agricultural industry. Additional visits took place at the Faculty of Agriculture at the University of Belgrade’s Department for Meat Science and Technology where we discussed base price of pigs for packer purchasing, testing imported products for residues, and the U.S. work on value-added products from pork and beef.
Future growth in the Serbian agricultural industries will rely on global trade and creating an efficient, market-based system. Through USDA, the United States works with countries across the globe to ensure our Nation’s interests are represented in the international meat industry. We stand by to provide guidance to our trade partners across the globe.