By Monica Raymunt (dpa)
HAVANA TIMES – Twenty-five slaughterhouses in Brazil have been added to China’s list of permitted sources of imported Brazilian meat, the Agriculture Ministry said on Monday, citing a letter from sanitation authorities with China’s GACC customs agency.
The announcement brings the number of slaughterhouses in Brazil to 89
– an increase of 39 per cent. More than two-thirds of the new facilities are for beef.
The negotiations over the new facilities were conducted by the Agriculture Ministry, the Ministry of Foreign Relations and the Brazilian Embassy in China.
The decision comes after Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina travelled to China in May with the goal of expanding the sale of Brazilian agricultural products in Asia.
According to the Brazilian Beef Exporters’ Association (ABIEC), China is the second-largest importer by volume of Brazilian beef in the world, having imported 322,415 tonnes last year. It was surpassed only by Hong Kong, where consumers purchased 394,856 tonnes of Brazilian beef.
Brazil is one of the most important beef exporters in the world, exporting more than 1.6 million tonnes of beef and beef products worth more than 6.57 billion dollars in 2018.
Brazil’s meat industry is linked to the thousands of fires currently raging across the country’s Amazon region, where farmers use fire to clear and prepare the land for crops and pasture.
The Climate Observatory, a network of Brazilian environmental researchers and NGOs, estimated that more than half of Brazil’s annual carbon emissions in 2017 were produced by deforestation activities, which are largely carried out to prepare the land for soy and cattle production.
Agriculture and livestock themselves were responsible for 22 per cent of Brazilian emissions, the network said.