EU schedules to block BRF chicken exports
The European Union is planning to block exports from nine BRF SA poultry plants to the trade bloc and may also revoke import credentials for other Brazilian chicken plants, Brazil’s agriculture minister said on Tuesday. Minister Blairo Maggi said Brazil would launch an effort to appeal the ban before the World Trade Organization. “This issue of a trade war, we have seen the United States with ‘America first’ but there is also ‘Europe first,’” Maggi said. “This is headed to a difficult place for everyone involved.”
Reuters reported that the current ban of imports from three of the company’s Brazil-based plants could be expanded based on negotiations between BRF and government officials that were held in Brussels the week of 9 April. During the meeting, Blairon Maggi, Brazil’s agriculture minister, explained the food safety processes and made guarantees about the wholesomeness of Brazil’s poultry products. Despite the assurances, Brazilian Senator Cidinho Santos told the newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, “We left the meeting pessimistic,” according to Reuters.
Since news of the scandal broke, BRF has suffered financially and a management shake-up is expected. This past February, BRF posted a fourth quarter loss of 242,373,600 USD. “A significant proportion of adverse results recorded in 2017, around 50% of them, arose from direct effects of the Weak Flesh Operation,” the company said in February. “The operation has led to the closure of many markets, generated discounts on export prices and brought relevant obstacles in the production chain, driving to relevant impacts on the company’s results.”