The US government successfully negotiated the removal of a beef export ban imposed by Brazil in 2003 over fears of foot-and-mouth disease. This was announced by government officials from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) on 1 August who confirmed that the two-way beef trade between two of the world’s biggest beef-producing countries had been established.
After intense and long-running negotiations, the US was finally been able to demonstrate to Brazil that it has a negligible risk for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), as defined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).
The US, too, has recognised that Brazilian food safety standards are equivalent to those in the US and fresh and frozen beef can be exported by Brazil to the US, a deal that could boost Brazilian exports to the US by a neat $900m.
Millions of dollars
“After many years of diligently working to regain access to the Brazilian market, the United States welcomes the news that Brazil has removed all barriers to US beef and beef product exports,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a press statement on 1 August.
“We are pleased that Brazil, a major agricultural producing and trading country, has aligned with science-based international standards, and we encourage other nations to do the same. Since last year alone, USDA has eliminated BSE-related restrictions in 16 countries, regaining market access for US beef and pumping hundreds-of-millions of dollars into the American economy.”
Both countries are expected to update their administrative procedures to allow trade between the two nations to begin in 90 days.
Crucial for Brazil
Earlier this year, GlobalMeatNews reported that a deal between the two beef-producing giants was close and Rabobank said that such a deal would significantly improve Brazil’s position on the international market.
Negotiations over Brazil exporting fresh and frozen beef to the US began in 1999 and Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), said the deal was crucial for the country.
“[It is] important for Brazil not only for buying potential of that market but also because the US is a reference to other importers of fresh beef,” said MAPA secretary Blairo Maggi.
“The Brazilian market offers excellent long-term potential for US beef exporters,” added Vilsack. “The United States looks forward to providing Brazil’s 200-million-plus consumers, and growing middle class, with high-quality American beef and beef products.”
The deal with Brazil is one of many meat trade deals orchestrated by the USDA this year. So far efforts have led to the reopening of Saudi Arabia and Peru for US beef, South Korea for poultry and South Africa for poultry, pork and beef.