China temporarily bans Brazilian meat imports
According to Reuters, China has temporarily suspended imports of Brazilian meat from Sunday 19 March following the scandal that health officials were allegedly bribed to allow the sale of rotten meat.
Reuters’ source, who wished to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the information, said that suspension of Brazilian meat imports was a “precautionary measure”.
Meanwhile, South Korea has tightened inspections of imported Brazilian chicken meat and temporarily barred sales of chicken products by BRF SA, the world’s largest poultry producer.
Irish farming organisations have asked the EU to ban all Brazilian meat imports immediately.
EU imports of Brazilian meat
This Monday, a spokesman for the European Commission said the EU is monitoring meat imports from Brazil and any companies found to be involved in a meat scandal there will be denied access to the European Union market.
“The Commission will ensure that any of the establishments implicated in the fraud are suspended from exporting to the EU,” a spokesman for the European Commission told a press briefing.
The Commission said the scandal would have no effect on negotiations between the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur about free trade agreements.
“The future EU/Mercosur free trade agreement will not lower but will reinforce our high regulatory requirements and food safety standards for agriculture imports,” he added.
Brazil will seek to do more trade negotiations on its own in the future and move away from Mercosur
However, reporting from Brazil this week, our agribusiness correspondent Lorcan Allen wrote that Brazil wants to move away from the Mercosur bloc.
Eduardo Riedel, who is state secretary of government in Mato Grosso do Sul, a central western state in Brazil, told the 2017 Nuffield Contemporary Scholars Conference that “Brazil will seek to do more trade negotiations on its own in the future and move away from Mercosur”. He added that the last decade was “wasted time” for Brazil in terms of opening new global markets for trade.