Mercosur deal: Brussels pressed over Brazilian meat scandal

The EU farm lobby has stressed concerns over meat standards and safety must be given priority in discussions with the Latin American trade bloc in the wake of the corruption scandal engulfing Brazil’s meat industry.Brussels representatives are holding a new round of negotiations this week in Buenos Aires with the countries that make up Mercosur – Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay – to advance a trade deal. Access to essential raw materials at more competitive pricesThrough the removal of particularly high tariffs, as well as non-tariff barriers, Mercosur could become one of the top markets for EU dairy, wine, spirits, processed foods, chocolates, all types of pork products, and canned fruits, claims the EU Commission’s DG for Trade .The removal of export tariffs on inputs for the EU food and feed sectors is an important objective for the EU in the negotiations, said the Commission. “Access to cheaper raw materials would make EU industry more competitive, in particular as regards to meat production.”Brazil and Argentina account for a huge chunk of the 80% of plant protein imports for feed the EU is so dependent on. The EU-Mercosur talks are set to cover sanitary and phyto-sanitary aspects of trade along with investment, IP rights like geographical indications, government procurement, and technical barriers to trade.On Friday, Copa and Cogeca secretary general, Pekka Pesonen, sent a letter to the Commission calling for EU safety standards to be met and for Mercosur countries to ensure individual traceability of cattle and a ban on the use of meat and bone meal in poultry production.

Source: Mercosur deal: Brussels pressed over Brazilian meat scandal