A group of business leaders and government officials from Uruguay and the United States will gather on Wednesday, March 19 at 12 pm at the Union League of Philadelphia to mark the arrival of the first shipment of frozen, boneless lamb from Uruguay into the United States. The shipment, the first to arrive in the United States since 2001, was made possible due to a ruling by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) that allowed entrance of Uruguayan lamb meats into America.

The Ambassador of Uruguay to the United States, Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Ministers from Uruguay, representatives from the City of Philadelphia, the USDA Marketing and Regulatory Programs Under Secretary, as well as executives from Holt Logistics Corp, the National Institute of Meat of Uruguay (INAC) and other importer/exporters will gather at the Union League for a ceremony to celebrate the arrival of the lamb meat and acknowledge the work of all those who made this import possible. Uruguayan officials will mark the occasion with a short presentation and reception to taste the high quality of the lamb meat.

The first shipment to arrive in the United States was unloaded from the Hamburg Sud vessel M/V Limari at the Packer Avenue Marine Terminal in South Philadelphia on March 8, 2014. The shipment contained 11 tons (22,000 lbs) of lamb meat cuts, including frozen boneless lamb leg, loin eye and tenderloin “Nirea Premium Lamb,” from the Frigorifico San Jacinto-NIREA Company.

Uruguayan agricultural officials have been working with US regulators for several years to improve control and ensure safe import of Uruguayan meats and produce. The ruling allowing for the import of frozen, boneless lamb products was made effective in November 2013, at which time Uruguayan and US authorities worked on to establish protocols and certificates necessary to comply with US regulations. Both countries have been working together since 2007 to re-open the US market for boneless lamb meat from Uruguay.