Brazilian Meat Scandal: 21 Meat Units Have Exports Suspended
As the Brazilian meat scandal unfolds, the country's Minister of Agriculture, Blairo Maggi, gathered journalists at the weekend to announce the suspension of exports from 21 meat processing units investigated by the 'Weak Flesh' operation.
According to the publication Valor Economico, of the 21 units mentioned by Maggi, three were shut down by Brazilian authorities: BRF's poultry unit in Mineiros (in the state of Goiás), and two plants from producer Peccin, one in Jaraguá do Sul (state of Santa Catarina) and one in Curitiba (in Paraná's state).
All other units remain open to production and commercialisation of meat internally in Brazil.
On Sunday, Minister Maggi made a statement to the press assuring all the investigated units will undergo extreme sanitary probe and will be monitored by a team of auditors working in shifts. “Nothing will leave these units without certification,” he explained.
In an attempt to calm importers of Brazilian meat, Maggi has also published a list of the companies named in the 'Weak Flesh' probe. The list, which can be downloaded in the Ministery of Agriculture website, reveals the countries to which the investigated units have exported in the last 60 days and what products were negotiated.
EU and China Cancel Imports From Brazil
Despite the government's attempt to contain the crisis, the European Union and China - responsible for about one-third of Brazilian meat exports last year - have already suspended imports of Brazilian meat processing facilities until further notice.
South Korean is following the same preventive measures and will intensify all sanitary checks from Brazilian meat imports and ban, temporarily, the purchase of all BRF's products.
Russia, Egypt and Chile are monitoring the situation as well.
Understand The Brazilian Meat Scandal
Operation Weak Flesh was launched in six Brazilian states in the early hours of last Friday, March 17th, after a two-year investigation carried by the Federal Police in 194 locations.
According to media reports, during the period, 21 meat processing units bribed health inspectors and politicians - including members of Brazilian president Michel Temer's PMDB party - to obtain sanitary certifications. The companies are accused of using chemicals and acid to mask the aspect and smell of rotten meat.
Both companies have denied wrongdoing.
© 2017 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Josiane Lang. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.