Brazil Wants to Raise Meat Quality

Local butchers will supposedly be getting better quality beef following Brazil’s $32 million laboratory investment. Vladimir Filonov

The number of Brazilian companies importing meat to Russia has dropped to 143.

Brazil carried out an audit of 236 companies and struck 93 companies off the list of suppliers because they cannot meet Russia's veterinary standards, Alexei Alexeyenko, a spokesman for Russia's Federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service said Tuesday. The news was announced at talks between the veterinary service and the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry that began Monday in Moscow.

Brazil provided a report outlining steps taken to eliminate shortcomings identified by the veterinary service and announced that it had replaced veterinary service chiefs in two states and made other staff changes, Alexeyenko said.

Brazilian authorities have allocated $32 million toward laboratory facilities to check meat products going to Russia and other countries in the Customs Union, he said.

Two groups of specialists will be set up for company inspections and laboratory monitoring, and they will consult on a regular basis to deal promptly with any issues that arise.

"But there is still a lot to discuss, so talks with our Brazilian colleagues will continue Wednesday," Alexeyenko said.

Brazil is one of Russia's leading meat suppliers. The Institute of Agricultural Marketing reports that, in 2010, Brazil accounted for 35 percent of pork imports (215,000 tons), 45 percent of the beef imports (269,000 tons) and 19 percent of poultry imported (121,000 tons).

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