US, Brazil Poultry Industries Sign Historic MoU

GLOBAL - Poultry industry leaders from the US and Brazil have signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
calendar icon 12 October 2009
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Leaders of the poultry industries of the United States and Brazil signed a historic MoU on 11 October in Cologne, Germany, pledging to work cooperatively on common issues while at the same time remaining staunch competitors.

Joined by members of both organisations, Jim Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council (USAPEEC) and Francisco Turra, president of the Brazilian Chicken Producers and Exporters Association (ABEF), signed the MoU during the hustle and bustle of ANUGA, the world's largest food and beverage fair. The signing took place at the USAPEEC booth in the USA Pavilion.

Although the two industry organistions, whose members account for nearly 80 per cent of global poultry exports, have talked about such an agreement for some time, Mr Sumner and Mr Turra set the wheels in motion in August during a meeting between the two at the Ave Expo show in Foz do Igaçu in Brazil.

"Our industry strongly supports the concepts stated in the MoU," Mr Sumner said. "We will continue to agree to disagree, because after all, we remain competitors above everything else. But under the terms of the MoU, we agree to work cooperatively on issues of mutual concern."

Mr Turra agreed. "This document means simply that the industries of the US and Brazil believe that by working together, we can overcome many challenges that we face globally, such as the environment, animal welfare and global trade barriers. Even though we are fierce competitors, this does not prevent us from collaborating on those issues that affect our ability to trade."

Under terms laid out in the MoU, USAPEEC and ABEF agree to promote sound public policies on several key points, including ecologically sustainable guidelines for poultry production, science-based animal health and food safety regulations, the expansion of free trade, and promoting relations based on cooperation instead of confrontation.

The MoU also sets a course for periodic meetings between industry leaders from the US and Brazil for discussions on issues of common interest.

Mr Sumner, who also serves as president of the International Poultry Council (IPC), said that the MoU is in line with the IPC's guiding principles of cooperation for the common good of the world's poultry industries. Both USAPEEC and ABEF are founding members of the IPC, and ABEF executive director, Ricardo Santin, is on the organisation's executive committee.

Mr Sumner and Mr Turra said that their respective organisations would continue to work within the IPC and that the MOU would only enhance the organisation's credibility.

left to right: Butch Johnson of Pilgrim's Pride, USAPEEC's first vice chairman; USAPEEC president Jim Sumner; Francisco Turra, president of ABEF; and Ricardo Santin, executive director of ABEF
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