Meat plants in a number of countries lose export access to China

AgriLand reported yesterday, Thursday, June 25, that authorities in China suspended imports of pigment into the country from the Rosderra plant in Roscrea, Co. Tipperary.

However, it is not the only plant to be affected in this way. Several other meat plants around the world have similarly lost market access to China, apparently due to Covid-19 outbreaks.

According to a report by international news outlet Reuters, the Chinese authorities said on Tuesday of this week, June 23, that a Brazilian beef exporter, and a pork plant in the UK, had voluntarily suspended exports due to cases of Covid-19 emerging in those plants.

Brazil’s Agra Agroindustrial De Alimentos voluntarily ceased beef exports to China after an apparent outbreak among its workforce, China’s General Administration of Customs said.

In a separate statement, the administration added that the company Tulip – The UK’s largest pork processor – voluntarily suspended all pork exports from its Tipton plant in West Midlands, England, for similar reasons.

According to the Reuters report, Chinese customs officials are asking companies that export there to sign declarations that their produce is free of contamination.

On Sunday, June 21, China said it had suspended poultry imports from a US meat plant, after also stopping imports of pork products from German processor Toennies.

‘Unlikely to be temporary’

According to sources, the suspension of the Rosderra plant’s licence for exporting to China is “likely to be temporary” and is “unlikely to have a major impact”.

The plant in Roscrea is the smaller of Rosderra’s two plants (the other, larger one being in Edenderry, Co. Offaly).

While some pigs may be redirected towards Edenderry, Roscrea is continuing to operate and supply the domestic market here and other export markets for pigmeat.

In early May, Rosderra said that “a number” of its employees had tested positive for Covid-19 at its Co. Tipperary plant.

However, the processor had stated that it would continue with a “scaled-down process” in the short-term while its affected staff members were self-isolating.