Brazil beef approved for shipment to US

Reuters reported Friday, Feb. 21, that the Brazilian Agriculture Minister said the United States had reopened its market for Brazilian fresh beef exports, effective immediately.

Fresh beef from that country has not been allowed since June 2017 when some shipments didn’t meet food safety requirements.

The country is a leading exporter of beef, and two of the United States major meatpackers, JBS and National Beef are Brazilian-owned. Brazilian beef company Marfrig owns National Beef.

USDA did not comment in the Reuters story, and an unnamed beef exporter said the impact may not be immediate.

“It is a great step but they need to be clearer in their communications,” said the source, adding that there was no green light telling exporters ‘tomorrow you can produce and export.’

In a news release, NCBA voiced concern.

“Given Brazil’s history of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) and its track record of repeated food safety violations at ports-of-entry, you can rest assured that NCBA will keep an eagle eye focus on all developments with Brazil and we expect nothing less than the highest level of scrutiny from USDA and customs officials. Should Brazil continue to have food safety or animal health issues, we expect the U.S. government, including Capitol Hill, to take all necessary and immediate action to protect U.S. consumers and U.S. beef producers,” said National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Senior Director, International Trade and Market Access, Kent Bacus.