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Production chain fears impact of traceability

The fact that Brazil is the world’s largest exporter of beef does not mean doors are always open to its products. "In 2007, almost 30% of what the country produced was exported, but it fell to 18% last year," says the technical director at Informa Economics FNP, José Vicente Ferraz. Besides the economic crisis, what stops the country exporting more is its failure to meet international standards, especially the demands from the European Union, which has led to several clashes in the last ten years.

One point of conflict is traceability - tracking the history of animals from birth to slaughter - adopted to meet the increased demands on meat importers in the EU after the BSE crisis. The Brazilian Cattle Supply Chain Traceability Service (Sisbov), created in 2002, has faced resistance from farmers. "The process started wrong and failed, but has been completely redesigned and adhesion has become voluntary," says Ferraz.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture (MAPA), Sisbov has been through a series of adjustments to optimize the procedure for individual identification of cattle and buffaloes, meeting the European Union standard and at the same time being less complicated and expensive for farmers.

The Director of Planejar, Luciano Medici Antunes, is concerned about the end of the current system of certification, which he says reduces the number of animals screened by Sisbov and hence the export potential to Europe. "Farmers who could export, but don’t, are losing money," he says.

Information provided by Valor Setorial | Carne Bovina

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