Philippine Market Open, in Theory

On November 17, 2009, Philippine Secretary of Agriculture Arthur Yap announced the lifting of the temporary ban on ruminant meat and bone meal im-ports from the United States. The original ban was due to concerns over bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The U.S. designation of “controlled risk” by the World Organization for Animal Health, combined with the U.S. risk mitigation measures put in place, including the enhanced feed rule, assisted in the decision by the Philippine Department of Agriculture to lift the ban.

The National Renderers Association (NRA) began working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) early in 2009 to discuss the opportunity of regaining market access to the Philippines for U.S. meat and bone meal. As FAS began the discussions with their Philippine counterparts, the NRA led a delegation to Manila to meet with relevant industry contacts and government officials. The delegation consisted of Peng Li, NRA director for Asia; Dr. Don Franco, past president of the Animal Protein Producers Industry; and Kent Swisher, NRA vice president, International Programs. These efforts culminated in the NRA hosting a Philippine government delegation to visit U.S. rendering plants in early September 2009, and the subsequent announcement by Yap.

Of crucial importance to the behind-the-scenes negotiations were the efforts of the FAS staff at the American Embassy in Manila, including Ag Counselor Emiko Purdy, Agriculture Attaché David Wolf, and their staff. In addition, the visit to the Philippines by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack in October 2009, and his focus on promoting meat and bone meal, cannot be overlooked. In short, the help received by FAS was important in lifting the ban.

However, after all the fanfare, the market is not yet officially open as the Philippine Department of Agriculture and USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service are in the process of finalizing negotiations for the import requirements of meat and bone meal. As with most market access discussions, the announcement of the market being open is not the actual opening of the market. The import requirements dictate more importantly if and when product can be exported. Hence, while most agriculture media outlets have reported that the market is open, the rendering industry has hesitated in doing so.

Editor’s Note: On February 4, 2010, import requirements were finalized, legitimately opening the market.

Imports of HS 23011 into the Philippines (HS 23011 can include porcine meal, poultry by-product meal, and ruminant meat and bone meal), 2008
Exporting Country…Metric Tons
United Kingdom…2,645
New Zealand……4,070
United States….5,736

February 2010 RENDER | back