Brazil’s ministry of agriculture, livestock and supply (ministério da agricultura, pecuária e abastecimento - MAPA) is now awaiting the result of a November visit from a Malaysian technical team, who have inspected the country’s slaughterhouses and operators.
Once that work is assessed, Malaysia should welcome additional exports of poultry and beef, said Brazil agriculture minister Blairo Maggi.
“They felt very satisfied with the operation and sanitary controls of these units,” said Judi Maria da Nóbrega, transit and quarantine chief at MAPA, adding that a sanitary and phytosanitary protocol would now be signed between the two countries allowing Brazilian livestock also to be exported to Malaysia, for slaughter or breeding – cargoes of buffalos and sheep may be shipped.
A ‘great opportunity’
The Associação Brasileira de Proteína Animal (ABPA), which represents the Brazilian meat industry told GlobalMeatNews: “The Malaysian market is a great opportunity for the Brazilian exporters as it leverages two strong advantages we have: our sanitary status and our capacity to produce a high-quality halal chicken to the standards required by this demanding country,” said a spokesperson. “Brazil is now the biggest halal chicken producer and exporter on the planet,” he claimed, noting that Malaysia’s 30 million people are 62% Muslim. These are served by a robust halal certification programme under regulator the Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (JAKIM).
Associação Brasileira das Indústrias Exportadoras de Carnes (ABIEC), the Brazilian association of meat exporters, said the deal was a result of Brazil’s good relationship with Islamic countries and a world-renowned quality production system. In 2015, ABIEC reported that 2 million tonnes of halal chicken was exported from Brazil worldwide. Brazilian meat have a globally recognised label, administered by the Central Islamic Brazilian Halal Food (CIBAL Halal – Central Islâmica Brasileira de Alimentos Halal (CIBAL Halal), a branch of the Federation of Muslim Associations of Brazil.
“Many markets such as Malaysia recognise the Brazilian halal system. We have four decades’ worth of tradition. This has put us at the top of the halal production and exportation,” said an ABIEC spokesperson.
Brazil to export more processed meat
From January to July 2016, unprocessed Brazilian beef meat exports to Malaysia reached 3,000 tonnes, according to ABIEC. Maggi has said the goal is for Brazil to export more processed and added value products to Malaysia, a middle-income country with a 2015 GDP per head of US$9,766.20, according to World Bank figures.
“The numbers are hard to check but we can say [this agreement] has generated approximately US$1.5 billion to US$2bn in opportunities and business. Will this happen? This is another story. The governments create the conditions, but the private [companies] sign the contracts,” said Maggi.
In September, Sao Paolo-based Brazilian food conglomerate BRF announced it would invest US$16m into FFM Further Processing SDH BHD, a food processing company in Malaysia.