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Brazil meat scandal underlines importance of maintaining standards post-Brexit

Monday 20 March 2017

The NFU has used the meat processing scandal erupting in Brazil to push the UK government not to sacrifice the farm sector in trade deals as Brexit nears.

On Monday, EU authorities banned meat imports from Brazilian companies implicated in a developing scandal, after police in Brazil raided a number of global meatpacking companies on Friday. Companies are thought to have been selling rotten meat and paying off officials to turn a blind eye to unsanitary conditions. Countries including China and South Korea have also suspended imports from Brazil.

On Monday, the NFU said the scandal should serve as a reminder to the government that trade deals brokered after Brexit must uphold high standards of food production.

Union President Meurig Raymond said, “Trade is an incredibly important issue for the future of British food in this country and for the people who produce it. News that the world’s largest red meat exporter could be involved in exporting rotten meat shows how important it is to have a secure and safe source of food in the UK.

“We have some of the highest animal welfare and environmental standards in the world. Food produced in this country is traceable and how it’s produced is independently audited by assured schemes like the Red Tractor. Trade agreements with countries across the globe must be balanced – with the same conditions applying to food imports and exports. Protecting the standards adhered to by British farmers and the transparency across the supply chain is essential for the public who want to buy safe and traceable food.

“Independent surveys show that 86% of shoppers want to buy more British food. This demand can be met by Britain’s farmers. But any trade deal entered into post-Brexit must ensure farming can be profitable, competitive and productive.”

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