SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Superior Farms recently was granted approval to export lamb products to Japan. The company is working with Farmland Trading, a Japanese distributor, to introduce the company’s premium lamb to high-end restaurants and retail locations.

Japan banned US exports of beef, sheep and goat products after bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was detected in a cow in Washington state in 2003. The US regained market access in July. Australia and New Zealand currently are the top suppliers of lamb to Japan.

“We have continued our relationship with Farmland Trading for 15 years anticipating this day,” said Rick Stott, CEO of Superior Farms. “This shipment represents a first step in a long-term strategic plan to grow the presence and appetite for American lamb in Japan. The potential to develop Japan into an excellent export country for American lamb is clearly there, but it will take time, investment and a long-term strategy to make that happen.”