Mexico Opens Doors to Brazilian and Argentinian Meat
Francisco Calderón, Director, the National Health, Safety and Food Quality Service (SENASICA), said Mexico is importing meat products from Argentina and Brazil as part of a plan to curtail inflation.
During a rally of the 2023-2024 Comecarne Committee, Calderón pointed out that Mexico had recently approved the import of beef from Argentina, as well as pork and pork-derived products from Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Importing meat from Argentina was banned back in 2001 due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. However, President López Obrador agreed to reopen the national market to boneless meat from the South American country during the visit of Argentinian President Alberto Fernández to Mexico in 2021 if health and safety processes were carried out. However, it was not until Jan. 10, 2023, that SENASICA issued the animal health requirements sheet for the import of boneless and aged meat from Argentina.
In the case of Brazil, Mexico increased the value of imports of poultry meat by 120% in comparison to 2021. Until now, beef imports from the South American country had remained blocked, also due to a possible outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in the region. However, according to Calderón, SENASICA is about to publish the health requirements sheet for the import of Brazilian beef. “Negotiations are about to conclude to open the market of Brazilian beef from regions free of foot-and-mouth disease, which have demonstrated compliance with the sanitary quality required by our country to protect domestic livestock production and consumer health,” he stated.
Calderón stressed that SENASICA’s strategy to confront high meat prices has been to diversify markets to provide the food and inputs needed for domestic production and supply. “We are responsible for facilitating the commercial exchange of food and therefore establish requirements based on scientific criteria and risk analysis,” he said. Additionally, Calderón pointed out that SENASICA has become an ally for national producers to open new markets for Mexican meat.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mexico ranked as the seventh biggest exporter of animal products in 2021. That year, Mexican producers exported over 586,000t of beef, pork and poultry meat to 65 countries, which resulted in a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year. This represented a capital inflow of more than US$3.3 billion. "The high safety standards met by Mexican producers and industry, as well as the quality of its agri-food products, have positioned Mexico as a major food supplier in the world,” Calderón said.