Brazilian meat imports suffer another blow after the backlash caused by Operation Weak Meat. China has announced that it will cut its imports. According to the Chinese government, retailers are having a hard time selling their stock.
However, there is not a clear explanation as to why the stocks are piling up. One of the reasons may be the lowering of general consumption during the summer period. Another possibility is that the Chinese simply bought too much meat. It is not clear if this year’s meat scandal has played a significant role.
In March, a Federal Police operation unveiled a bribing scheme within the Ministry of Agriculture. Auditors received bribes in exchange for fraudulent sanitary permits.
But other news should worry Brazilian meat producers as well. After 14 years, China opened its market for US meat imports. And there’s more competition to come, as France and Northern Ireland are also negotiating with the Asian country.
A statement by the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) read: “The meat industry is still recovering from the international effects caused by the wrongful disclosure of the Weak Meat Operation. Markets such as China, Hong Kong, and Kuwait still have an inferior performance compared to the same period in 2016.”
UE could ban Brazilian meat
One of the biggest markets for Brazilian meat, the European Union has considered banning imports from Brazil. In a harsh letter to Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi, the EU’s Health and Food Security Committee, Vytenis Andriukaitis, complained that the country has done nothing to regain the trust of international partners.
Between May 2 and 12, the EU conducted an audit of Brazilian slaughterhouses and meatpacking companies. In fact, they found “a range of critical deficiencies in most sectors, a number of which are of a serious nature.”
The EU has been fed up with Brazil’s lack of effort to address the problems with sanitary inspections in the country. Following the Federal Police operation in March, the government simply said that the problem was not widespread and affected only 21 establishments.
However, Brazilian authorities “considered that no further investigations were necessary for other establishments.”
Furthermore, Brazil hasn’t planned any measures to strengthen the control systems in place.
Indeed, the European Commission has stated that Brazil’s constant corruption scandals undermine the country’s credibility. Blairo Maggi, the Minister of Agriculture, is one of the many politicians under federal investigation.