MOSCOW – Russia imposed beef import restrictions on products from plants owned by JBS SA, Marfrig Alimentos SA and Minerva SA following reports of unsanitary conditions at the facilities.
Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia's veterinary and phytosanitary surveillance agency, reported that "coliform bacteria" were detected in frozen beef trimmings from a Minerva plant as well as frozen beef from the JBS plant and a Pamplona Alimentos pork plant. The findings were contained in a report about inspections from June 30 to July 14.
“A number of systematic violations and some violations at individual plants were detected, thus demonstrating the Brazilian Services cannot provide sufficient control to ensure compliance with veterinary and sanitary regulations of the Customs Union and Russia,” Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement. “Therefore, the Rosselkhoznadzor made a decision to impose temporary restrictions on Oct. 2 this year on imports of animal products from 10 plants and to retain earlier imposed temporary restriction on imports of animal products from six plants.”
Marfrig stated that the company had not been notified about the import restrictions.
“The company clarifies that, as of this moment, it has not received any notification regarding this matter and, if confirmed, its total exports to Russia should remain unaffected, and made through the other production plants of Marfrig Beef Business Unit in Brazil and in Uruguay,” Ricardo Florence dos Santos, chief financial and investor relations officer, said in a statement. “The strategy of the Marfrig Group has always been based on diversifying across geographic regions and proteins, with this global platform enabling it to overcome any trade and sanitary barriers by redirecting production to other units, regions or countries without suffering any impacts on its production levels.”
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry said it would translate the Russian report and review the violations. Russia is Brazil's largest beef customer. Brazilian beef imported to Russia from January to August were valued at $807 million, according to BloombergBusinessweek.com, citing data from Brazil's Trade Ministry website.