In December China will audit 15 meat processing plants in Brazil
The measure is an important step towards expanding access for Brazilian meat to that market. The Asians will also have to audit three units that have already received permission.
The industry noted that the list is made up of geographically diverse units and includes plants of the three largest companies (JBS, Marfrig and Minerva) and others with regional operations.
A letter from the Ministry of Agriculture sent to the country's meat business associations says that "the indication of the establishments was made by the General Administration of Customs of China [GACC]” and that the Department “does not have knowledge of the criteria used for such indications".
The definition of the plants to be visited generated doubts among representatives of the sector. This is because the Brazilian government recently sent a list of 20 slaughterhouses for the GACC to evaluate for qualification, following a chronological order of accreditation of the requirements to request access to that market.
The visit of technicians from China will aim to "qualify new plants and verify compliance with the requirements of already qualified plants", says a letter from the ministry.
The Ministry says that it requested the GACC that "the 15 establishments that will be visited represent the others for qualification purposes". In the understanding of the industry, the suggestion is that the audit is a "sample" and can serve as a parameter to qualify other plants that were left off the list. It is considered unlikely, however, that China will promote a "massive" qualification of national slaughterhouses, assessed one source. Among those already enabled that will be visited are a Marfrig meat plant, a GTFood chicken plant and a Seara pork plant.
The letter also says that the plants will have to be fully operational before and during the mission and that "the new indications are temporarily suspended by the GACC until the completion of this audit process".
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