Egypt approves market access for Brazil

20-04-2020 | | |
Many countries want to ensure chicken meat coming from Brazil in fear of missing out on essential supply during the Corona crisis. Photo: Hans Prinsen
Many countries want to ensure chicken meat coming from Brazil in fear of missing out on essential supply during the Corona crisis. Photo: Hans Prinsen

Egypt has approved 42 new Brazilian processors to export meat to its market, 15 beef slaughterhouses and 27 poultry plants. The General Organisation of Veterinary Services of Egypt took this decision end of March and first shipments are already underway.

The agricultural attaché at the Brazilian Embassy in Cairo, Cesar Simas Teles, informed ANBA (Brazil Arabian News Agency) last week that the Arab country has also renewed 95 (82 for cattle and 13 for poultry) previous qualifications. The Agricultural attaché said that Covid-19 fast-tracked the decision and is likely to bring a “complete recognition” for the Brazilian system

According to Teles, the negotiation for the new certifications involved the Secretariat for Trade and International Relations and the Secretariat for Agricultural Defence, respectively from Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply and Brazilian Embassy in Egypt, and Egyptian sanitary authorities. The Arab country’s request to expand its suppliers has emerged precisely in the midst of fears about food security due to the global coronavirus crisis. “Talks were already underway since the beginning of the year. I believe that this pandemic only accelerated a decision that was about to happen,” said Teles.

Complete recognition

He added the new certifications show the Egyptian government’s confidence in Brazil’s system. Both countries are negotiating and exchanging information for a complete recognition of the Brazilian animal inspection system by Egypt. “If the Egyptian government recognises the Brazil’s animal health system, this will allow Brazil to export and save resources spent on Egyptian audits in Brazilian processing facilities,” he explained.

Egypt has around 93 million people and, due to their muslin beliefs, most of the population requires “halal” slaughter for any kind of meat. They also don´t eat pork. Concerning chicken meat, Egypt imported 51,000 tons from Brazil in 2019, with revenues of US$ 67.9 million. The country is the third largest destination for Brazilian beef.

Barriers lifted

The Brazilian ag Minister Tereza Cristina has said that, given the actual scenario, some sanitary measures, which often make processes take longer or were even used as trade barriers, “are being left behind”. In recent interviews, she pointed out that Brazil “has been asked by other countries that seek agricultural products and are concerned about a possible shortage of “post-pandemic Coronavirus”. That is the case for Malaysia and Singapore that have already contacted the Brazilian Agricultural, Livestock and Supply Ministry to resume or increase chicken and beef deliveries.

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Daniel Azevedo Freelance journalist Brazil