We just carried out the third Latin American Poultry Summit in virtual format within the IPPE Marketplace framework. Our first keynote speaker - Ricardo Santin, CEO of the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) - was asked to speak on how to redevelop the export ability of other Latin American nations, based on his experience in Brazil.

Santin gave many of the very good reasons why Brazil is the largest chicken exporter in the world, with 4.2 million metric tons in 2020 exported to 150 destinations. Among them are a very good poultry health status, availability of grains and water, sustainability, integration, traceability, and quality of products.

However, one aspect that I think has been very important for Brazil is the fact that they are very flexible in providing what the importer needs. They adapt to religious requirements, such as halal chicken, and Brazil is the largest halal chicken exporter. They also do particular cuts, such as the kakugiri - the Japanese style boneless thigh - or the shawarma for the Middle East. This is a cut that is also used in Mexico for the pastor style tacos, commonly seen in street food.

This is reflected in their 2019 chicken export figures ─ Brazil exported 67% chicken cuts, 26% whole carcass, 3% salted, 2% sausages and 2% processed (as per ABPA data).

So, moving to the issue of developing export abilities in other Latin American nations, maybe this is the way to go. Santin also mentioned that companies go to the countries and do their own research. They observe and inquire what people need and want.

And what about venturing in new flavors, new formats? I am sure there is more than breasts, thighs, drumsticks, nuggets and breaded products.

However, let us not forget that all this comes after a recognized disease-free status is achieved, when biosecurity and traceability is part of the routine and quality is imbedded in the soul of the industry.

Santin finished saying that Latin America has the potential to export. "The world must have no borders for food."

What do you think?

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