DUBAI – The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has temporarily suspended exports to the Kingdom from two BRF poultry plants in Brazil.
The announcement about the suspension of the Dois Vizinhos and Francisco Beltrão plants, both in Paraná, was made on the SFDA website on February 10.
BRF is one of Brazil’s biggest animal protein companies and the two plants operate solely to supply exports to Saudi Arabia. They account for 20% of Brazil’s poultry exports to the Kingdom. BRF declined to give Salaam Gateway a comment on the matter.
Ricardo Santin, who will take over as president of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) in April, told Salaam Gateway the Saudi authority did not give any reason for the suspension of the plants.
“We don’t know why they closed but we are working on talking to the Saudi authorities as soon as possible, the Brazilian ambassador in Riyadh (Marcelo Della Nina) is mediating it and we hope it will happen soon,” Santin told Salaam Gateway in Dubai at trade fair Gulfood on Sunday (Feb 16).
“We don’t know how long it will take for the plants to reopen, but we always follow all the norms and procedures they request from us, so we hope they will reopen as soon as possible,” Santin said.
The Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce secretary general, Tamer Mansour, said his office is also seeking the reasons for the suspension, and that it is also working for the two plants to reopen and continue exports to Saudi Arabia.
“We are trying to schedule a meeting with the Brazilian embassy in Riyadh, and the agricultural attache, and maybe also a meeting with the SFDA, to understand it better.
“There was no reason, and we have lost 20% of the total production to Saudi Arabia with the closing of these two factories,” Mansour said.
The secretary general is travelling to Riyadh next Thursday (Feb 20).
Brazil’s poultry exports to Arab countries dropped 3.5% in January to 97,950 tonnes compared to the same month in 2019, according to Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA).
The largest drop came from the United Arab Emirates that imported 18% less poultry to 21,100 tonnes, and Saudi Arabia bought 9% less poultry year-on-year to 35,150 tonnes.
(Editing by Emmy Abdul Alim [email protected])
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