Brazilian beef embargoed in Russia generated loss of 1 billion a year, says SNA spokesman. The Russian Federal Office for Sanitary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor), the agency that regulates agricultural security in the country, announced on Wednesday that it will release imports of pork and beef from nine Brazilian suppliers today.

Brazilian meat was embargoed in the Russian market since November 2017 due to the presence of ractopamine in animal products from Brazilian cold storage plants.

According to Hélio Sirimarco, vice president of the National Agricultural Society (SNA), the Russian market generated profits of $1 billion per year for Brazilian agribusiness.

“Russia accounted for almost 40% of total shipments of pork and 50% of sales and in the case of beef … Both represent a revenue of $ 1 billion dollars, it is significant that you lose a market like this,” he said.

RATOPPAMINE is a food additive used to make animals gain weight more efficiently and accumulate less fat. The use of the product in feed is approved by the World Health Organization, but is not authorized by Russia, the European Union and China.

To avoid any type of contamination, Brazil uses the segregation system to export meat to countries that have restrictions, that is, the animals receive another type of feed and are raised separately.

Hélio Sirimarco explained that before 48 refrigerators exported to Russia, now only 9 have met the restrictions.

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“When you have a problem of this nature, because of changes in your production system, it may or may not change, apparently a small number of slaughterhouses have submitted to the new Russian health standards, so much so that only this small number was authorized,” he said.

Through a video, the Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply, Blairo Maggi, celebrated the release and said that the decision was highly anticipated by Brazilian producers, especially pig farmers. “It is difficult to open into markets, it is easy to lose markets and it is much harder to recover markets,” he said.

The president of the Brazilian Republic, Michel Temer, announced the Russian decision through Twitter and thanked the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin, “for the commercial collaboration with our country.”

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