UFU calls for block on Brazilian meat imports

Monday, 20 March, 2017

Ulster Farmers’ Union president, Barclay Bell, has said Brazilian meat imports into Europe should be blocked.  This followed allegations of corruption and the sale of sub-standard meat from Brazil.

“I am shocked that Brazilian meat processors allegedly sold this meat, some of which was treated with carcinogenic products.  It's disturbing to hear that this been happening for some time and that processors may have bribed government officials to secure hygiene certificates for this meat,” said Mr Bell.

The UFU president said this went against everything farmers here work to achieve, in terms of producing meat to the highest quality standards. “This underlines the importance of consumers putting their trust in food sourced from farms in the UK, produced to world-leading quality and traceability standards,” said, Mr Bell.  He added that the response by the EU should be an immediate trade ban, to protect consumers while investigations continue.

These claims emerged as trade discussions take place between the EU and the Mercosur countries of South America.  The UFU says that with the UK seeking post-Brexit trade deals, reports of meat being sold on the back of bribes underline the need for protection from imports produced to standards far below UK and EU standards.

“It is of critical importance that politicians in Belfast, London and Brussels raise with trade officials the concerns of the farming industry has about these reports from Brazil.  We cannot accept that our industry, or consumers, are put at risk by imports from countries where serious allegations have been made of fraud and corruption in their food industry,” warned Mr Bell.