An important part of Brazilian agribusiness – poultry and pork production – is already mobilizing with the government to try to fulfill some of its demands. Last Wednesday, representatives of the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) met with two ministers of Jair Bolsonaro: Tereza Cristina, Agriculture, and Onyx Lorenzoni, of the Civil House. In the agenda of the meeting, the demands of the sector were presented.
The approach of the animal protein industry just nine days after the new president’s inauguration is strategic. The intention is to expose problems and make suggestions before the government engages and unfavorable decisions are taken. The most urgent agenda is the possibility of the Brazilian Embassy in Israel being transferred to Jerusalem, as the president indicated.
For the sector, the retaliation of the Arab market to Brazil would be a serious blow to business because of the relevance of the region to Brazilian exports. Ricardo Santin, vice president and director of ABPA markets, confirmed that the issue is a source of concern. The entity made some suggestions to the government to get around the situation, how to build an event center or business in the holy city; what you can not do is transfer the embassy from Tel Aviv. “We ask that there be caution in the evaluation of this proposal, that no decision should be made of a water droplet,” he explains.
The meeting with Tereza Cristina (former leader of the agribusiness bench in the Chamber of Deputies) and Lorenzoni – who is trained in veterinary medicine and also has links with agribusiness – also served the animal protein sector to talk about some problems that affect the competitiveness of Brazil – the largest exporter of chicken and the fourth of pigs in the world. Among them, according to Santin, are logistical difficulties, for example, in grain outflow, its main input, labor issues and the cost of electricity.
ABPA began to develop a study to identify the bottlenecks and how to increase the competitiveness of Brazilian producers. It was agreed that the two ministries will receive reports at each completed stage of this diagnosis, which should be finalized before August when the International Salon of Poultry and Pig Industry will be held in Sao Paulo. It was also agreed that the Minister of Agriculture will travel to São Paulo and meet with industry representatives.
Parallel to this movement of rapprochement with the government, poultry and pork producers are seeking ways to increase the sector’s performance abroad. The forecast, according to Santin, is that ABPA will have, this year, three offices abroad. Representations will be opened in Dubai, Brussels, and Beijing.
Even before the inauguration, President Jair Bolsonaro’s statements about the country’s position on issues related to international relations brought representatives of segments exporting attention. The most alarming case was triggered by the claim that the Brazilian Embassy in Israel would be transferred from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who took part in Bolsonaro’s inauguration, said he had heard from Bolsonaro that the change would be made.
As the Bolsonaro family’s statements about the Israeli embassy’s change began to spread, the Arab League (22-nation Arab League) expressed its displeasure and sent a letter to the president urging him not to implement measures that “overlap the status legal “of Jerusalem” to preserve the bonds of friendship and the historical relations of the Arab countries with Brazil. “