Brazilian Beef Update

UK - The NFU has been campaigning for some time on the issue of ID, traceability and assurances within the Brazilian beef sector.
calendar icon 25 May 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

NFU Presidents meet with Commissioner Kyprianou in Brussels

Today, it has been brought to our attention during the Unions Chairman meeting in Ireland, that these issues have not improved over the last twelve months.

These issues have not gone unnoticed by the NFU and in January, NFU President Peter Kendall met with Commissioner Kyprianou to discuss our outstanding concerns over fresh Brazilian beef imports.

The Commissioner acknowledged that there were some remaining problems and some considerable time gaps in verifying implementation of the FVO recommendations.

He also gave a commitment to improve individual identification within Brazil and take immediate action if the next FVO mission found continued shortcomings in the implementation.

One year after their initial visit to Brazil, delegates from the IFA and the beef editor of the Irish Journal, undertook an extensive road trip to investigate what improvements, if any, had been made in the Brazilian beef production industry and the control of foot and mouth disease.

The report is very damming eg no tagging and traceability, further outbreaks of FMD imminent etc.

Key findings include:

  • no tagging and illegal tag removal
  • traceability system non existent
  • widespread movements of cattle across states and border
  • further FMD outbreaks imminent in Brazil
  • risk of FMD outbreaks being covered up
  • government adopted "don't want to know" FMD policy
  • illegal hormones found on beef finishing unit

The report can be read in full on the Farmers Journal website.

NFU action

Following concerns with regards to the sourcing policy of Braizilian beef in Asda, the NFU got a commitment from them to take a line of Brazilian beef off its shelves last summer.

In the follow up meeting, Asda assured the NFU that the use of non-assured Brazilian beef was “an error in sourcing policy and not an attempt to undermine British beef products” and they insisted that their long term strategy was that “Asda brand would be British”.

Asda also committed that all their imported beef would be of equal production standards, fully traceable and take account of environmental responsibilities.


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