Mexican Farmers Ask to Monitor Meat Imports From South America
The livestock sector in Mexico showed a petition to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (SADER), urging it to monitor the health standards of imported meat from South American countries to avoid disease outbreaks and to promote healthy competition among producers.
At the beginning of 2023, the federal government decided to open borders to import meat and other food products from Argentina and Brazil, which for years had been restricted by potential outbreaks of avian influenza or foot-and-mouth disease. In this regard, Homero García, President, the National Confederation of Livestock Organizations (CNOG), outlined that the livestock industry in Mexico has invested in technology intended for the production of sustainable food and animal health to ensure food security, contribute to economic growth and generate foreign exchanges. “We ask the government to safeguard and prioritize the sanitary well-being of the national livestock sector in the face of increasing foreign imports,” he highlighted.
According to García, the Mexican industry satisfies 80% of the national meat demand, which diminishes the environmental impact of the sector by reducing carbon emissions caused by international transportation. Furthermore, to increase productivity and competitiveness as well as to improve traceability and sustainability, CNOG signed an agreement with the Mexican Association of Meat Producers (AMEG) and the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) to boost research and improve livestock production chains. “Our challenge is to reduce carbon and water footprints and incorporate new technology to achieve optimal management of natural resources. Also, we want to increase agroforestry practices,” García pointed out.
CNOG stressed that Mexico produces about 4 million t of chicken, 3 million t of eggs, 2.2 million t of beef and 1.7 million t of pork. Likewise, around 100,000 t of sheep and goat meat as well as 13,000 million L of milk are produced every year. Additionally, the country exports 350,000 t of beef and 1 million live calves to the international market every year.
On the framework of the National Livestock Day, commemorated on March 6, 2023, Víctor Villalobos, Minister, SADER, recalled that the livestock sector is an important industry for the Mexican economy since it contributes about 39.7% of the primary’s sector GDP and is an essential source of food and partner in the fight against malnutrition. “Mexico is a country with a livestock trade, where 56% of the national surface, or 108.9 million ha, is dedicated to extensive livestock with different systems of meat and dairy production,” Villalobos stated.