China lifts ban on Brazilian meat imports
With losses of US$40 million in a week, the impact of Operation Weak Flesh was huge and global, but the situation seems to be beginning to reverse itself.
The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein, (ABPA) reported recently that a week after the Operation Weak Flesh (Carne Fraca in Portuguese), the losses recorded by the chicken and pork export sectors in Brazil reached $40 million.
There was total blockage of exports to large markets such as China, Hong Kong, Egypt, Mexico and Chile, which represent 20 percent of the export income for chicken meat, 33 percent of international pork sales and 14 percent of turkey shipments. In total, this represents 22 percent of the forecasted US$185.7 million of shipments of products in a week.
But only a week later, things seem to be moving in a positive direction. Francisco Turra, CEO of ABPA, was very pleased this weekend with the announcement by the Chinese authorities and officially by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Supply (MAPA), Blairo Maggi, on the resumption of Brazilian exports of meat products to China.
The statement was issued by the General Administration of Quarantine, Inspection and Quality Supervision of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ)
Turra, like Maggi, said, "The reopening of borders to Brazilian meat products reaffirms the Chinese’s confidence in the guarantees of food safety and quality offered by the Brazilian productive system."
Meanwhile, a statement from Maggi at the MAPA website last Saturday said, "China never closed the market to our products, but took preventive measures for us to have the opportunity to provide all necessary explanations and ensure quality of our health inspection. We appreciate the gesture of confidence of China, our strategic partner, in the credibility of the Brazilian system."
ABPA praises quick action from Brazil government
“China is a market of the highest importance for the animal protein sector in Brazil. It is the second largest importer of chicken meat and third in pork. The resumption of shipments after submitting the explanations of the Brazilian government shows that China has confidence in our production system for the food safety of its population, offering the same quality that we deliver to the Brazilian market,” said Turra.
ABPA extols the efforts made jointly by the private sector and the Brazilian government, under the coordination of the Ministry of Agriculture, with the full support of Planalto Palace in Brasilia and the embassies.
There is no doubt that Brazil acted quickly. As Turra said, "Swift action led by the government was decisive for a consistent and flexible solution." ABPA has the expectation that a new listing of embargo suspensions will be announced shortly.
Brazil has one of the most advanced systems of food production in the world. Turra said that this was "thanks to years of research and development, investment in infrastructure and new technologies, and the commitment of producers, technicians, entrepreneurs and collaborators from the most diverse areas."
It seems to be the idea that there were errors or misunderstandings in the disclosure of Operação Carne Fraca. The impact was huge and global. Thusly, Turra emphasized that "it is essential that organizations that had to do with Operation Weak Flesh be guided by the disclosure of actual facts, to avoid speculation that cause misinformation," and consequently harm the agri-food industry.