December 10, 2008
The number of Brazilian farms and ranchers authorised to export beef to the EU has increased significantly, but a recent report have raised concerns on the auditing standards that were used to pass the operations.
The recent report by Europe's Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) said Brazil's certification body for animal identification was not committed to delivery a satisfactory result, and that it has continued to perform poorly in that area.
The report said some Brazilian inspectors accepted or even advised practices they knew to be illegal when approving units for beef exports to the EU.
The report also said none of the Brazilian inspectors met during the FVO mission counted the cattle on farms or read the ear tags on the animals.
In response, the Irish Farmers Association has called for the EU to strip the farms and ranches of their authorised status, and to impose a total ban on all Brazilian imports.
Statistics show 608 Brazilian units had been approved so far, a sharp increase from the initial 84 establishments. Brazil's beef exports to the EU market were restricted due to problems on traceability, food safety, and animal health controls.
Brazil aims to clear 2,680 units for export to the EU, and Brazilian inspectors are responsible for checking the farms and ranches to ensure they comply with EU standards.