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Brazil hears protectionism in French ag minister's speech

The Brazilian Association of Animal Protein opposes claims of the French minister of agriculture, Julien Denormandie, that French chicken breast is better than Brazilian chicken meat.
French agriculture minister, Julien Denormandie (L), and French health minister, Olivier Veran (R), speak together as they leave the Elysee Presidential Palace after a weekly cabinet meeting in Paris. Photo: ANP
French agriculture minister, Julien Denormandie (L), and French health minister, Olivier Veran (R), speak together as they leave the Elysee Presidential Palace after a weekly cabinet meeting in Paris. Photo: ANP

During an agricultural fair in Corbières-en-Provence, south of France, Denormandie said that Brazilian protein “does not have the same impact on children’s health as a French chicken breast”. He continued: “We are going to implement a regulation on the origin of meat. As of 2022, it will be mandatory for all public or private markets to indicate the origin of meat. When a father sees meat from Brazil or Ukraine, this may awaken his consciousness,” he said.

Respect for trade agreements

In response, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein published a public note that demands “more respect and seriousness” from the minister. According to the entity’s assessment, the situation shows all protectionist motivations from Denormandie. The public speech coincided with the final negotiations of the trade agreement between Mercosur and the European Union. France is main opponent country to a comprehensive free trade because of its high agricultural costs and prices to consumers.

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“He disrespects the work of excellence in quality, sustainability and sanitary defense performed by Brazilian poultry farming, which is, for example, free from avian influenza,” said ABPA. In addition, the entity emphasises “it is worth remembering that Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of chicken meat, meets the most demanding international health criteria with excellence, including europeans.”

Denormandie´s speech took place during a fair on which French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke about the agricultural ‘sovereignty’ of France. “We are not going to import products from abroad supposedly with less strict sanitary rules than ours. That´s an absurd,” said Macron.