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Government and productive sector evaluate preventive actions of slaughterhouses during the pandemic

Posted by Marina
The preventive and contingency actions of Brazilian slaughterhouses during the pandemic period were the subject of yet another live of the Brasília Connection project of the Parliamentary Front of Agriculture (FPA), held last Tuesday night (4th). This debate was attended by the participation of ABPA's executive director, Ricardo Santin; the director of the Department of Inspection of Products of Animal Origin of the Ministry of Agriculture, Ana Lúcia Viana; the director of Abrafrigo, Paulo Mustefaga and the coordinator of Animal Production at CNA, Lilian Figueiredo. Participants evaluated the safety standards defined by the government, the current situation of the meat industry in Brazil and perspectives until the end of the year. The live is part of a partnership between Canal Rural and the Agricultural Parliamentary Front (FPA).

The director of the Ministry of Agriculture declared that today there is no plant registered with the SIF (Federal Inspection Service) with activities paralyzed due to contamination of the new coronavirus. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, the productive sector and the federal government have been adopting measures to contain the spread of the disease and keep essential activities functioning,” said Ana Lúcia Viana. She recalled that some refrigerators temporarily suspended the production line, but, at that moment, they have already been resumed.

According to a survey by the Ministry of Agriculture, there are 3,299 meat and meat processing establishments in the country registered with the Federal Inspection Service (SIF), of which 445 sell animal protein.

Ana Lúcia Viana also clarified that the recommendations manual published in May, which later became Ordinance 19, published in June, provided legal certainty and transparency for the industry to act in this difficult moment. The standard was issued jointly by the Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Economy. “This rule was to have a standardization. All slaughterhouses have biosafety rules that have to be adopted, regardless of the pandemic or not ”, he pointed out. The ordinance provides procedures for the protection of employees and the health of the food produced, ranging from transportation, access to refrigerators, changing rooms, cafeterias and rest areas.

Abrafrigo's director reinforced that the industry anticipated and enforced safety rules even before the quarantine started in Brazil. “The slaughterhouse industry, as soon as the state of emergency was declared in Brazil and was classified as an essential activity, assumed a commitment to guarantee all quality, all sanitary safety of production”, highlighted Paulo Mustefaga.

All participants also insisted on reinforcing that there is no scientific evidence of transmission of Covid19 by food consumption and emphasized the quality of Brazilian meat.

“Meat does not transmit Covid. The Ministry of Agriculture provides security so that we can obtain and continue to have supplies with security and quality. In the case of exports, people trust our product. There are thousands of containers exported and nobody has ever been sick ”, emphasized ABPA's executive director, Ricardo Santin. The ABPA leader also added that within the universe of refrigeration plants in the national territory, Brazil has managed to control the spread of the disease. He mentioned that in poultry and pork plants alone there are 500 thousand workers.

Paulo Mustefaga also recalled that Brazil exports to more than 150 countries. "Brazil is the largest exporter of beef in the world and the second largest producer of beef, we have an extremely professional industry, and the sector has been working very seriously to overcome this challenge".

The CNA Animal Production coordinator showed optimism with the work being done by the ministries and state defense agencies with the slaughterhouses. “For us in the productive sector, work in the field continues. Our confidence remains and our role is to assist the establishments and we are available ”.

New markets

At the same time that it guarantees internal supply during the pandemic, the Brazilian agribusiness continues to gain space in the international market, according to the representative of the Ministry of Agriculture. “We opened up new markets. Egypt, for example, has enabled 42 Brazilian establishments to supply meat, 27 of which are chicken and 15 are beef. No country has stopped buying the product from Brazil, ”explained the director of the ministry.

Vision shared also by Lilian Figueiredo, from CNA. “Exports have been growing. We have to increase our production in the field and the producer has invested in technology. Our perspective is to win new markets and maintain quality food for our population ”, he concluded.