San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Japan OKs Costa Rica pork exports

Japan’s Agriculture Ministry this week announced they had declared Costa Rica free of swine flu, which for local producers means they now have open doors for exporting pork to the Asian giant.

Costa Rica’s National Animal Health Service Assistant Director Alexis Sandí said the certification process began in July 2012.

Sandí said the Japanese health authorities’ approval occurred faster than expected.

“The Japanese government’s response was very, very quick. I believe our excellent sanitary conditions and the sector’s good practices were key,” Sandí said.

Costa Rica’s Agriculture and Livestock Minister Gloria Abraham highlighted efforts by the ministry’s pork commission in earning the approval.

“A country capable of selling to Japan is capable of selling anywhere in the world. Japanese requirements are among the highest,” Abraham said.

The next step for Tico pork producers is to conduct market research to identify local companies interested in exporting their products to Japan.

Last year, Costa Rica signed a trade agreement to export pork to China. Negotiations took place in early June during a visit to the Central American country by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Contact L. Arias at

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