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Brazilian Mission to Unlock EU Beef Negotiations

07 July 2010

BRAZIL - A Brazilian delegation is to fly to the EU headquarters in Brussels, on Friday, in a bid to speed up negotiations over rules that the country's beef industry says are blocking beef exports.

Brazil wants to repeal Policy 61, published in 2008, which requires a preliminary list of companies that are entitled to supply cattle for slaughter and export meat to the EU.

Brazil is also calling for fairer criteria for sales within the Hilton quota for prime cuts.

The meeting between Brazilian and European authorities, on Monday and Tuesday (12-13 July), will be attended by the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture, Wagner Rossi.

According to a report from the Brazilian Beef Export Association (Abiec), its president, Otavio Cançado, said: "Discussions are already under discussion for some time, but will be the first time a minister goes to Brussels. This will give more weight to the meetings and raise the tone of the negotiations. We hope to have faster results."

The negotiations over Policy 61 surround who will monitor the certified farms. It is proposed that the same number of farms will be allowed on the list, but they should be monitored by the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture and not the EU.

At present there are around 1800 Brazilian farms qualified to export to the European Union.

Brazil is calling for a relaxation of the rules to allow more farms to export.

Any changes to the rule will hang on the outcome of the negotiations and then a decision by the European Parliament.

Before the rule came into place, Brazil exported 300,000 tonnes of meat a year to the EU. Now the volume is between 120,000 and 130,000 tonnes.

Abiec said that if they could get back to exporting 300,000 tonnes to the EU, Europe would becoming Brazil's main destination for beef exports.

Brazil also maintains that the EU has changed the criteria for Hilton quota without consultation.

"At the beginning of last month they turned down our proposal, but left an opening for renegotiation," said Mr Cançado.

Brazil has a Hilton quota of 10 000 tonnes but since JUly of last year it has only managed to export about 10 per cent of the quota.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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