Brazilian agriculture minister Blairo Maggi has given a positive assessment of the country’s meat export prospects as new figures show overseas sales rebounding from the impact of recent corruption scandals.
Speaking at an industry event in Sao Paulo last week, the minister said ongoing improvements to the country’s meat inspection systems would help reassure buyers over the quality and safety of Brazilian meat.
“This will allow us to have a durable market,” he said, adding that Brazil wants to be “at the centre” of global sales.
Brazil is already the world’s largest exporter of poultry and the fourth largest exporter of pork. Meanwhile, the country competes with India and Australia to be the world’s largest exporter of beef.
Overseas sales of all three major meats have recovered strongly over the past two months, with August figures showing that most major buyers have moved on from the ‘Carne Fraca’ corruption scandal.
With further improvements expected in the coming months, pork and poultry industry body, the ABPA says it expects end-of-year totals to be higher than those in 2016.
Focus on quality
For the beef sector, the challenge now is to convince buyers that Brazilian beef is superior to that of low cost suppliers such as India.
This was recently highlighted by the Market Intelligence manager at Minerva Foods, Leonardo Alencar.
"The increase in production has to come with gains in quality. Without that there is a risk that we will have to eat more and more, because the countries abroad will not want to buy our meat," he said.
At an event in Curitiba, Alencar noted that Brazil is well positioned as an international supplier of bovine meat. In 2016 it was the world’s second largest exporter, with 19.7% of the global market, behind India, with 23.2%.
Brazil currently sells products of both high and low quality. While this enables it to serve a range of markets, Alencar says itrisks harming the product’s image.
"We have to keep differentiating so we do not fight with India. Today India supplies meat used as an ingredient, which is mixed with other products. We also have meat that is bought in the supermarket and even in restaurants, which is US beef, and we have premium meat, which is from Uruguay, Argentina and Australia. Brazil needs to move in that direction," he says.
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