New opportunity for Mississippi ranchers to sell more beef in Europe

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Ranchers and cattlemen in Mississippi could soon have their beef products served in London, Paris and other European cities. 

After decades of trade disputes the European Union and the U.S have reached what they call “successful outcomes” with beef imports.

Beef is the second highest meat product raised and sold here and as the agriculture economy continues to globalize, Mississippi farmers can now shoot for more revenue overseas. 

Already known worldwide, many people crave American beef. 

“Our beef is grain feed in the Midwest and that just adds a different taste than the rest of the world,” Andy Berry with the Mississippi Cattlemen Association told us. “Most of the other nations are grass fed beef, and there’s nothing like that which compares and we see that across the world that they want our U.S grain fed beef.”

Since 2013 U.S beef exports to Europe have stayed even allowing the U.S to be out paced by competitors such as Australia, Canada, Argentina, and New Zealand selling beef into Europe. But this new deal could make America the top beef exporter. 

“Eventually it will be about 35,000 metric tons, starting off it will mean about 40 million more pounds will be shipping to the European Union,” Berry explained. “And over six or seven years that number will go up to almost 80 million pounds.”

But in order to qualify farmers must make sure the meat from their animals is free of any growth-promoting hormones, before sending it overseas. 

“Production has increased and as the population increases, we’ve had agriculture being able to keep up with that,” Simpson County farmer Price Wallace said. “And produce the products that the world is asking for and in some places on smaller amounts of land.” 

The thought of Mississippi raised beef being served in homes and restaurants in Germany, England, Spain and other European countries is beyond rewarding for cattle ranchers. 

“I would love to be there when the first piece of U.S Beef hits the plate of a European Consumer,” Wallace said. “And when they take that bite with the smile on their face and satisfaction of man this is a good piece of meat. That’s what’s going to sell U.S beef.”

Other important breakthroughs of this new trade deal include America getting exclusive rights to exporting up to 35,000 metric tons of certified beef before tariffs take effect. 

The agreement still has to be voted on by the European Union parliament which could take several months. But both trade secretaries are showing confidence it will be approved. 

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