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The announcement on February 11 that Russia had begun banning all US meat imports over concerns about the leanness additive ractopamine came as a blow after record-breaking pork exports in 2012. According to the US Meat Export Federation, the US exported $8 million of pork to Russia in 2003, but by 2012, that number had grown more than 35 times over to $282 million.
Iowa Pork Producers Association Communications Director Ron Birkenholz, above, says the ban doesn’t make sense, but it didn’t exactly come out of the blue either.
During the week of February 25, IPPA sent a trade mission to another export market – southeast Asia. Birkenholz says the goal of that mission and others is to keep in contact with export markets, even when they’re not top importers.
You can read highlights from the trade mission on the Iowa Pork Producers Association’s website.