050601 Greater Omaha Packing Attains QSA CertificationJune 11, 2005
Greater Omaha Packing joined a small but fast-growing list of only a half-dozen packers that have achieved QSA certification, a complicated but necessary step to doing business with most foreign countries as BSE-driven trade barriers start to come down.
“The export market has always been an important business for us,” said Kathleen Krantz, Vice President, Technical Resources. “We were instrumental in helping open the Taiwanese market, for instance. We worked with the U.S.Meat Export Federation and Jim Butler at the Foreign Agriculture Service, hosting a plant tour for a Taiwanese delegation. I think they understood the quality in our system when they saw it firsthand.”
The company-developed program was designed with the flexibility to meet the varying requirements of each export destination but the main attribute, demanded by the Japanese, was age-verification. According to Krantz, the program was developed with the input and guidance of the Agricultural Marketing Service and people like Jim Riva and Samantha Simon.
“We use the program for product that’s shipped to Mexico, Canada and Egypt. The Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) for the European market is also included in the Agriculture Marketing Service Programs,” said Krantz.
Asked about the role the events of 12/23/03 played in their decision to seek QSA certification, she said, “We felt the BSE situation was a crisis that was not warranted. The American consumer understood the situation and stayed with us but we had to react to world markets. American beef, backed by sound science, is the safest in the world.”