SAO PAULO, Brazil – Two meat processing facilities owned by Minerva SA have been cleared to export fresh beef to the United States.
The company’s facilities in Palmeiras de Goias and Barretos have processing capacities of 2,000 head of cattle per day and 840 head of cattle per day, respectively. In a notice to shareholders, the company explained that, “The US import system is based on specific quotas depending on the country or group of countries, and Brazil has not yet been assigned a quota. Therefore, the country will initially be included under the ‘Other’ quota (with a total equivalent to 64,800 ton/year), where countries such as Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, together, are also able to export to USA.”
In August, USDA announced that Brazil had reopened its markets to US beef exports. Brazil had banned imports of US beef and beef products in 2003 after the discovery of a confirmed case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Brazil had its own brush with atypical BSE in 2012. Animals classified as having atypical BSE may or may not get BSE.
Minerva operates 17 slaughtering and boning plants — 11 in Brazil, three in Paraguay, two in Uruguay and one in Colombia. Slaughtering capacity is 17,330 head of cattle per day, and boning capacity is 20,300 head per day, according to the company’s website. Minerva also operates 13 distribution centers.