WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013 – The Agriculture Department announced today that it, in collaboration with the Food and Drug Administration, has developed a program to certify processed eggs and egg products for export, in hopes of providing new opportunities for U.S. food exporters.

“This is one more step the Obama administration has taken to expand exports of high quality U.S. agricultural products,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. “Today’s announcement will open new markets for U.S. egg products, generating additional economic benefits and more jobs across rural America. We are in the midst of the strongest period of agricultural exports in history, and I look forward to making even more progress in the years ahead.”

The USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) will certify a wide range of products containing eggs, including omelets, frozen egg patties, crepes, hard boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and food containing egg extracts. The total market for U.S. exports of further processed eggs and egg products worldwide is estimated to be $500 million.

“This program was developed to help U.S. processors and shippers take advantage of the growing global demand for these products,” said AMS Administrator Dave Shipman. “This effort allows producers to obtain certification that some importing countries require and will provide new opportunities for them to market their products globally.”

AMS said it worked with FDA, USDA's Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS), other government agencies, and representatives from processed egg and egg food organizations, including the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council and the United Egg Association, to develop the program.

“A number of countries around the world have asked for certification for egg-containing products. This initiative provides a means for U.S. exporters to access previously untapped markets, creating jobs and supporting USDA's export goals,” said FAS Administrator Suzanne Heinen.

AMS has unique capabilities in working with stakeholders to develop export certification programs that meet the specific requirements of other countries. With years of experience certifying eggs for export, AMS will now expand its services to support the trade of egg-containing products.

Once AMS verifies that a company meets the established certification requirements, the company will be listed as eligible for export by product and country. An eligible company would contact AMS for an export certificate covering accepted product and identify the foreign country. The certificates and verifications will be completed by AMS on a fee basis. For more information please contact: Dean Kastner, Director, Poultry Grading Division at (202) 720-3272 or via email at Dean.Kastner@ams.usda.gov; or Will Stone, International Trade Specialist, Standards & Technology Division at (202) 720-3100 or via email at William.Stone@ams.usda.gov.


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