Technical Advisory Council met last month to move forward on implementing the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Self Reporting Tool (SRT), a potential major step forward in meeting U.S. import standards. The Council is part of NCBA CLUSA's USDA-funded Safe Agriculture Food Export (SAFE) program to prepare the industry for export and sustainable growth.Government and private sector leaders in the beef and dairy industry that make up the
Council institutions reported on progress towards using the SRT, an oversight tool that allows a country to demonstrate that its inspection system achieves an equivalent level of protection. If approved by relevant authorities in the U.S. this would represent a significant step forward for the beef industry in the Dominican Republic and the SAFE project, which is working to help potential exporters meet U.S. food safety standards.
This first step puts the country on the waiting list to undergo the inspection process of meat processing procedures and plants. This sets Dominican producers on a path toward obtaining the certification they need to export their products to the U.S.
Among other topics discussed during the meeting was the need for LAVECEN, the Central Veterinary Authority, to obtain the necessary resources to comply with the required analytics for beef slaughterhouses and public health; the commitment of the Dominican Ministers of Public Health and Agriculture to the USDA SAFE project; and the need to define a method for the disposal of slaughterhouse waste that meets environmental standards.
Council members also celebrated the news that Dominican Republic President Danilo Medina has expressed support for USDA SAFE’s initiatives and the beef industry, and that instructions have been issued to comply with all the regulations required for the country to resume exports to the U.S. and other external markets. With support from the highest levels of the country's government, beef industry leaders will continue to move forward in bringing the industry up to the necessary environmental and health standards.