Farming representative have called for a European ban on all Brazilian meat, following revelations several major processors exported spoiled meat.
The Ulster Farmers’ Union said the decision by the European Commission to banning imports only from the Brazilian companies allegedly involved did not go far enough, and all Brazilian meat should be banned as a precaution.
“Recent reports from Brazil about major meat processors allegedly having exported spoiled meat are deeply worrying,” said UFU President Barclay Bell. “The fact that some of this meat may have been treated with uncertified chemicals and that these companies have reportedly bribed Brazilian officials to secure hygiene certificates is a very disturbing situation.”
The UFU president said it was vital consumers were not put at risk by cheap imports from countries that cannot meet strict EU requirements and that Brussels must not accept any level of non-compliance. “This is particularly important as we move towards exiting the EU, with the government seeking new global trade deals. Farmers in the UK produce food to world-leading standards for animal welfare, traceability, food safety and protection of the environment. These must be prioritised in future trade deals,” said Bell.
The NFU in Scotland said the scandal was a reminder that countries with lower food production standards must not be given unfettered access to the UK market, particularly as Brexit negotiations move forward.
NFU Scotland President Andrew McCornick commented: “The fact that the world’s largest red meat exporter is home to this scandal is a reminder that the best way for consumers to ensure they are buying fresh, quality, and tasty food is to buy food from Scotland which is clearly labelled as Scottish.
“Our farmers work hard to meet high quality production standards, and our supply chains are fully traceable. It is important that food is not being imported into our market that is not produced at standards that are equivalent to, or better than, our own.
“Looking forward to Brexit, Scottish farmers and crofters need reassurances from the UK Government that it will not negotiate trade deals which trade away our high standards of production and welfare and we will remind them of this at every opportunity.”