Japan has opened its doors to U.S. sheep and goat exports for the first time in 14 years, and that has made American stakeholders happy.
U.S. Meat Export Federation Chair Dennis Stiffler says Japan was a primary market for U.S. lamb before losing access in December of 2003 because of mad cow disease detection in the American cattle herd. “Our lamb producers and the overall industry are very excited about the opportunity to export our quality products to an upscale market,” Stiffler says. “The Japanese have proven in the past that they’re very receptive to the unique flavor of U.S. lamb.”
While U.S. lamb has already been well-received in other markets like Taiwan, which reopened to U.S. lamb in 2016, Japan presents an exceptional opportunity for significant export growth. Japan is already the leading value market for U.S. beef and pork, and their consumers are expected to embrace U.S. lamb’s flavor and consistency.
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue says this success is a direct result of USDA’s dedication to helping farmers find new markets for their products.