Brazil Toughens Rules to Avoid U.S.-Style Disruptions

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Brazil, the biggest exporter of beef and chicken, is betting on a new set of safety standards to avoid the kind of mass processing disruptions that caused meat shortages and price spikes in America.

The South American farming giant plans to introduce new national guidelines that incorporate requirements from local authorities and labor prosecutors, Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said in an interview. Until now, the industry has been operating under protocols set with the federal government.

Covid-19 outbreaks in U.S. slaughterhouses forced a wave of closures last month that led to a glut of animals and a more than doubling of wholesale pork and beef prices. While the Brazilian industry has avoided major disruptions so far, prosecutors and local authorities have halted a handful of facilities over safety concerns. On Monday, Marfrig Global Foods SA said 25 workers at a plant in Mato Grosso state tested positive and at least one died.

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