Brazilian Minister of Agriculture Blairo Maggi said they were currently undergoing an “EU trade war” and urged Europe not to ban poultry products from Brazil.
The decision to block poultry imports was taken by the European Commission after Brazilian authorities re-ignited investigations last month into BRF plants and laboratories allegedly covering up the presence of salmonella.
Maggi said that BRF’s investigation should not affect other Brazilian establishments.
“They are taking advantage of taking us out of the market due to sanitary concerns, which are unfounded” Maggi said. “The decision to suspend part of the exports of only three refrigeration companies was taken by MAPA itself after the Federal Police carried out an investigation. But as far as the EU is concerned, it should be extended to all of the [country’s] businesses.”
Maggi highlighted that measures had been taken by the Ministry to withdraw any political influence on the meat industry.
MAPA’s defence secretary Luis Rangel revealed that controls on the presence of salmonella in poultry meat had been established by MAPA since 2003, following international standards.
Brazil has reported a steep decline in the poultry sector following the BRF investigation after chicken exports dropped by 9.7% to US$580.6 million, while JBS Brazilian business Seara’s net revenue fell by 4.5% in relation to Q4 2017, mainly due to lower volumes of fresh poultry sold domestically and internationally.