In this file:
· EU: Brazil’s rotten meat scandal strikes ahead of fresh EU trade talks
· Forbes: Watch Out For Europe Restrictions On Brazil Beef
· Authorities assessing whether Brazilian rotten meat reached Denmark
· UK: Farm organisations call for ban on Brazilian meat
· IFA calls for immediate ban on Brazilian meat imports
· UK: Meatpacking companies 'bribed inspectors to keep rotten meat on the market', police say
· Brazil reassures foreign countries after rotten meat scandal; Singapore a major importer
· Singapore not affected by Brazilian rotten meat: AVA
HOW BRAZIL’S MEAT SCANDAL COULD IMPACT EXPORTS
· EU to block any firms involved in Brazil meat scandal
Brazil’s rotten meat scandal strikes ahead of fresh EU trade talks
euroefe.es | translated by Sam Morgan
Euractiv - Mar 20l 2017
The European Union has insisted Brazilian representatives attend an emergency meeting today (20 March) to explain themselves regarding a scandal involving rotten meat and the country’s two largest exporters. EURACTIV Spain reports.
Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi told national media that the EU’s agricultural representative had called him by telephone and that they are due to meet today to discuss the issue. He also confirmed he had been in contact with the heads of the two meat producers involved in the scandal, JBS and BRF.
The EU and the Merosur trading bloc are set to press on with negotiations on a massive trade deal and the South American powerhouse is naturally concerned that this scandal could jeopardise those talks. A foreign ministry representative admitted that “it really complicates negotiations”.
“This problem affects and will affect everyone. I do not know what the consequences will be but we are going to have problems and we will have to work hard in order to minimise their impact. We have a robust, rigid system that is validated by our international buyers but it fails when people are corrupted and that is regrettable,” Blairo Maggi explained.
Brazil, one of the world’s largest food producers, was rocked by a police operation on Friday (17 March) where it was revealed that large meat producers had bribed health inspectors to certify tainted food as safe for human consumption.
“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 regular press briefing.
The executive added that the meat scandal would have no impact on negotiations currently under way between the EU and Mercosur, in which the two sides hope to reach agreements on free trade.
Brazil is the globe’s largest exporter of beef and chicken and fourth in terms of pork sales. Exports of these products made up 7.6% of its trade in 2016 and topped $11.6 billion, with the EU its main trading partner.
In order to preserve its lucrative trade, Brazilian President Michel Temer even invited ambassadors to a steak dinner to try and prove that its meat industry poses no threat...
Watch Out For Europe Restrictions On Brazil Beef
Kenneth Rapoza, Forbes
Mar 20, 2017
Monday is a big day for Brasil Foods (known as BRF), the biggest trade in the Brazilian food space for American investors on the NYSE. That's when European beef importers will have their pow-wow with Brazilian authorities over yet another (can you believe it?!) scandal in the country. This time it's not about politicians ransacking the national oil company Petrobras; its about privately held and publicly traded beef exporters -- some of the biggest in the world -- selling shoddy beef.
"We need to know more about this and urgently," E.U. Ambassador Joao Cravinho told Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper on Sunday. "If their explanation isn't good enough, public opinion pressure and our obligation to protect the consumer could, in this case, lead to measures that impact trade between the European Union and Brazil," he was reported saying.
Translation: beef and chicken embargo. The E.U. is Brazil's biggest market for those two items...
Authorities assessing whether Brazilian rotten meat reached Denmark
New international food scandal brewing involving chemically tampered-with meat
by Stephen Gadd, The Copenhagen Post
March 20th, 2017
In the wake of a food scandal in Brazil in which 33 government officials have so far been suspended, Denmark’s Veterinary and Food Administration has reported to TV2 News that they are investigating whether any of the contaminated meat has ended up here.
The authority has urged Danish wholesalers to check whether any of their meat could be dangerous to health.
The flesh is weak
The BBC reports that there have been allegations that some of the biggest meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry for years. Three plants have been closed and 21 others are being investigated. Much of the meat produced by these companies is exported to Europe and other parts of the world.
Operation Weak Flesh was launched in the early hours of Friday in six Brazilian states after a two-year investigation. Federal police carried out raids at 194 locations, deploying more than 1,000 officers.
The investigators allege that some managers bribed health inspectors and politicians to get government certificates for their products...
Farm organisations call for ban on Brazilian meat
By Thomas Hubert, Irish Farmers Journal
20 March 2017
China has temporarily banned meat from Brazil while authorities in the South American country have moved to reassure importing countries.
The highest authorities in Brazil held two crisis meetings on Sunday to manage the aftermath of revelations that several companies had sold meat unfit for consumption, including to international customers.
A large-scale police operation revealed alleged sales of out-of-date meat and salmonella contamination at the weekend and around 30 staff of meat processors were detained.
On Sunday, Brazil president Michel Temer convened all industry bodies on the one hand, and foreign ambassadors on the other hand in an effort to reassure them that ongoing investigations would deal with the problem.
Temer announced that 21 factories where police had found alleged irregularities would be placed under a special inspection regime.
Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi added that his department’s staff would be based there round the clock and “nothing will come out of these abattoirs without the inspector’s express authorisation”. The minister also published a list of the 21 companies, five of which had recently exported products to the EU.
President Temer added:
IFA calls for immediate ban on Brazilian meat imports
Calls comes in wake of corruption scandal engulfing Brazil’s meat industry
Eoin Burke-Kennedy, The Irish Times
Mar 20, 2017
The Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) has called for an immediate ban on Brazilian meat imports following reports that the South American country may have been exporting contaminated meat products to Europe for several years.
Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of red meat, has sought to reassure trading partners that the corruption scandal engulfing its meat industry does not mean that exported products were unsafe for human consumption.
This comes amid allegations that several top Brazilian meat processors bribed health inspectors and politicians to get government certificates for their products.
IFA president Joe Healy said the latest shocking revelations on the failure of Brazil to meet EU standards and controls in the meat sector raises very serious concerns around EU meat imports.
He said the reports from Brazil would indicate that basic requirements around traceability and food safety are still not being met in Brazil.
Mr Healy also confirmed he had written to the EU Commissioner for health and food safety Vytenis Andriukaitis demanding that the EU insist on European standards for all European imports and to impose a ban where this is not met...
Meatpacking companies 'bribed inspectors to keep rotten meat on the market', police say
Brazil's agriculture minister is due to meet with European meat industry representatives following shipments
Mauricio Savarese, Independent (UK)
Mar 19, 2017
Two big Brazilian meatpacking companies bribed inspectors to keep rotten meat on the market, police said as they issued dozens of arrest warrants, while a judge accused the Agriculture Ministry of betraying the country.
Part of the money allegedly paid by meatpackers JBS and BRF was channelled to two major political parties, including that of President Michel Temer, police said after a two-year investigation.
On Saturday Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said he would meet with ambassadors and representatives of the European meat industry on Monday after investigators said some of the meat was exported there.
Authorities warned the case was a severe blow to the international image of Brazil's agribusiness sector, which officials have been counting on heavily for helping the country recover from its worst recession in decades.
Investigator Mauricio Moscardi Grillo said at a news conference that the two meatpackers used chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meats. He said at least one executive reported that rotten meat was mixed with healthy meat to be sold to consumers.
Cheaper products like water and manioc flour were also blended with meat sold by the two companies, Mr Grillo said, adding that three plants have been shut down.
The arrest warrants were issued on Friday.
The investigator said schoolchildren in the southern state of Parana were fed with dangerous meat...
Brazil reassures foreign countries after rotten meat scandal; Singapore a major importer
March 20, 2017
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s president met Sunday (March 19) with dozens of ambassadors from countries that import Brazilian meat, seeking to minimise damage from a corruption probe that alleges meatpackers bribed inspectors to keep rotten meat on the market.
Speaking at the presidential palace, President Michel Temer told the diplomats that Brazil’s "government wants to reiterate its confidence in the quality of our national product".
Mr Temer set up the meeting following inquiries from the European Union and China over the scandal. Federal police issued 38 arrest warrants involving the giant meatpackers JBS and BRF in a blow to Brazil’s reputation as one of the world’s leading meat producers.
Brazil's president minimised the investigation, saying that only 33 of the 11,000 inspectors at the Agriculture Ministry are being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to overlook meatpackers using chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meat.
According to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)'s website, Brazil is on the list of approved countries to export meat like beef, mutton, pork and poultry to Singapore.
Some of the bad meat was exported to Europe, investigators have said. Mr Temer told the ambassadors that the Agriculture Ministry would soon release a list of countries that could have received rotten meat as well as the name of the meatpackers responsible.
Mr Temer said a task force would be created to speed up the investigation of the plants...
Singapore not affected by Brazilian rotten meat: AVA
By Victor Loh, TODAY (Singapore)
March 20, 2017
SINGAPORE — The Republic is not affected by the rotten meat scandal that has hit world’s biggest exporter of meat and poultry, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Monday (March 20), reassuring consumers that imported meat and meat products from Brazil are safe for consumption.
None of the 21 meat-processing establishments placed by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply under a special surveillance regime are approved to export to Singapore, the authority said in a statement.
On Friday, Brazilian police revealed that a two-year probe found that major meatpackers had bribed 33 health inspectors to keep rotten meat on the market, with earlier media reports stating that some of the bad meat were exported to Europe.
With Brazil listed as a major source of supply of beef, chicken, pork, fruits and sugar to Singapore, supermarket operators NTUC FairPrice and Dairy Farm, had reached out to their suppliers on Monday to seek clarification on the situation. Dairy Farm said it has received confirmation from its suppliers none of its imports are affected.
Although NTUC FairPrice had earlier said it imports poultry from two suppliers investigated by the Brazilian authorities, none of the affected establishments which packed the meat exported its tainted products to Singapore. The two holding companies under investigation are BRF, which owns the Sadia and Perdigao brands, and JBS, owner of Big Frango and Swift brands.
In an update on Friday evening, NTUC FairPrice said it has been working closely with its suppliers...
HOW BRAZIL’S MEAT SCANDAL COULD IMPACT EXPORTS
The meat industry is one of the cornerstones of the Brazilian economy
By plus55 > Brazil Business
Mar 19, 2017
It took Brazil’s meat industry decades to convince the world that their products were quality. In fact, even Oscar-winning actor Robert de Niro appeared on commercials vouching for Brazil’s processed meat. The country is now the world’s second-largest meat exporter, shipping beef, pork, and poultry to over 150 countries. Every year, exports brought $14.5 billion to Brazil. However, chances are those numbers will go down very soon. Way down.
Brazil’s Federal Police unveiled a scheme that bribed federal auditors in exchange for sanitary permits to rotten beef and poultry containing cardboard fragments. That episode is capable of destroying the image of the entire sector. While JBS and BRF, the industry’s leaders, lost almost $2 billion in one day, other players who are not in the scandal suffered multi-million losses as well.
“In other countries, consumers don’t know the multitude of Brazil’s meat brands. For them, it’s all Brazilian meat,” says Blenda Lara, a lawyer specialized in foreign trade.
She continues: “Things get even bleaker when we analyze that JBS and BRF, which are at the center of the scandal, are present in other sectors of the food industry, like dairy products. Consumers could boycott not only their meat but their entire production.”
Less than one year ago, Brazil had pulled an amazing deal to allow its beef into the U.S. market after 17 years of negotiations. American safety standards for foreign products are among the world’s strictest, and many countries could follow the U.S. in opening their markets to Brazilian beef.
Following the scandal, it would be a surprise if the U.S. didn’t back down from the deal.
Other countries might force prices down or even forbid imports from Brazil altogether, as the European Union has threatened. The bloc’s ambassador to Brazil, João Gomes Cravinho, told O Globo that the EU will suspend imports unless Brazil offers sufficient explanations to the problem. Today, Brazil is the EU’s biggest poultry supplier.
News couldn’t be worse for a country highly dependent on the agribusiness.
Understand Brazil’s meat scandal ...
EU to block any firms involved in Brazil meat scandal
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by David Clarke, Reuters
Mar 20, 2017
The European Commission 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, a spokesman said on Monday.
Brazilian police raided global meatpacking companies JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) as well as dozens of smaller rivals on Friday in a crackdown on alleged payments to health officials to conceal unsanitary conditions.
"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 impact on negotiations between the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur about free trade agreements.
Any deal would include a chapter on sanitary measures and food safety standards, a spokesman said...