Brazil has expanded its pork and chicken markets. As a result of negotiations between the agriculture ministries of both countries initiated last February, the Philippines started importing from eight processing plants in the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, according to reports in the Brazilian press. The country imported 10,000 metric tons of chicken meat in 2008 from Brazil.

The decision to purchase pork and chicken is unprecedented and, according to Brazilian Minister Reinhold Stephanes, demonstrates the confidence this country has in the Brazilian veterinary service. The Philippines already imports beef from Brazil.

In the case of pork, the Philippines demanded the product originate from a foot-and-mouth disease-free area, without vaccination -- a requirement Santa Catarina meets. The state has three chicken exporting units, and after negotiations become a reality, there will be five more plants authorized for exporting pork.

"A few months ago, we opened up the pork market to China and the mission of the ministry is  to intensify efforts in opening up the market for this sector to other countries in that region", Stephanes said.