With scores of meatpacking companies in the US impacted by coronavirus, Brazil has offered to plug the gap and avoid a meat shortage.
The CEO of JBS Guilherme Cavalcanti announced in a webinar that the US could satisfy domestic demand for the next 15 days and JBS was able to source from Australia and Brazil to support the country further.
“Our geographic diversification has been a natural hedge for trade barriers and sanitary issues," said Cavalcanti. "Now, this flexibility has worked as a supply hedge for the current crisis."
CEO of Brazilian meatpacker Minerva Edison Ticle said the company could serve US needs from its plants in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, and that Minerva has already increased its exports to the US since early April.
After suspending imports of Brazilian beef in 2017 over safety concerns, the US reopened the market on 21 February. According to Ticle, Brazil is allowed to export around 60,000 metric tonnes of beef to the US annually in a tariff-free import quota shared with other nations.
President Donald Trump has ordered meat processing plants to stay open in the US in order to address concerns over any food shortages resulting from coronavirus-affected workers.