Brazil could get EU approval to widen chicken export opportunities, minister says

Imports from 20 Brazil plants were suspended in 2018
calendar icon 22 March 2024
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazil could soon get approval to sell more meat products to the European Union, Reuters reported, citing the South American nation's Agriculture Minister Carlos Favaro on Wednesday.

Favaro's remarks were made during a visit to a BRF SA chicken plant in Lucas do Rio Verde, Mato Grosso state, which is currently seeking permission to export products to the United Kingdom.

On Wednesday, the minister had said the plant had already received the green light for UK exports. In a statement on Thursday, the agriculture ministry clarified that permission had not yet been granted, but was in process and that the next step will be an audit of the plant. If that is successful, the ministry will proceed with authorising Lucas do Rio Verde to export chicken to the UK, it said.

"With the potential approval of BRF's plant to export to the United Kingdom, which is a process that is already taking place, there is the expectation that this will be the first step towards conquering new markets in the EU," the ministry said on Thursday, adding that it was an "expectation" rather than a "guarantee."

In 2018, the EU suspended imports from 20 Brazilian meat plants, mostly poultry producers.

The ban dealt a blow to Brazil's largest chicken processor, BRF, which had 12 plants delisted by the EU after its involvement in a food safety investigation.

Exports from delisted plants remain suspended, according to meat lobby ABPA. But the EU has sent a mission to Brazil and companies are awaiting its results, which could reverse the bans, ABPA said.

The EU is currently Brazil's sixth largest chicken export destination, ABPA said.

Favaro said BRF's Lucas do Rio Verde plant also has been cleared to resume exports to China after a suspension that had been in effect since 2016.

Brazil is the world's biggest meat exporter and accounts for almost 40% of global chicken meat supplies, according to trade data.

Last year, Brazil exported 316,000 metric tons of chicken products to the EU, trade data shows.

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