The national director of Agrifood Safety and Quality of the National Service of Agrifood Health and Quality (Senasa), Alejandro Fernández, confirmed that the new cutting system for the retail sale of beef will begin next Tuesday, considered that the refrigerators had “enough time to adapt” and that currently more than 80% of them are in a position to implement the measure.
“There is no turning back, the measure begins on November 1. It is a decision made and we understand that there was enough time to make the adaptation,” Fernández told Télam, regarding the new system for marketing beef in pieces that cannot exceed 32 kilos.
This new marketing scheme was announced in April 2021 through a joint resolution of the then Ministries of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries; Work, Employment and Social Security, and Productive Development.
“We hope that in a few months the situation will be definitively accommodated and next year we can see a new meat marketing system”Alexander Fernandez
“This is an issue that does not come from two years ago, but has been discussed for 20 or more. The noise today arises from the intervention of state organizations,” said the official regarding the resistance to adopting the measure that exists from some establishments and suppliers of the local market.
Fernandez argued that although at first these measures may generate “rejection and noise, eventually the chain will adapt”.
“We hope that in a few months the situation will be definitively accommodated and next year we will be able to see a new meat marketing system,” added the Senasa official.
Fernández assured that the majority of the federal transit refrigerators, which are under the control of the national body, are already ready to start with the new system on Tuesday.
In this sense, he explained that these establishments “cover about 80% of the national slaughter, both for export and for the domestic market. Within this volume, 80% of the plants are in a position to go out with the measure without inconvenience to Starting Tuesday.”
“The remaining 20%, in reality there are very few, have advanced in credits, procedures and in obtaining formal authorization to do the chopping. For those who are not in a position to do so, we have informed them that they will be able to move half carcasses to slaughterhouses or scrappers to do the chopping, as long as they are not retailers,” Fernández pointed out.
The objectives pursued by the chopping are, the official specified, in the first place, to prevent workers from continuing to unload half-carcasses on their shoulders to butcher shops, taking into account that they can weigh 120 kilos each.
In this type of transport, “there are also impacts on the hygiene and quality of the product, because the way of moving or delivering it in this way causes the beef measure to fall or drag and come into contact with elements that contaminate the product.”
How slicing will impact prices
In addition, there is the price point, since the Government expects “there to be a more efficient distribution in the commercial chain regarding the destinations of the different pieces that contain differentiated cuts, which will allow them to be taken to those places where they will be consumed”.
In view of the imminent start-up of the system, in the last days of last week the Government established new requirements through resolution 91/2022.
These measures determine that meat processing plants, in accordance with their commercial modality, must provide the number of pieces that are made on the slaughtering beach, each one of them must be identified with the troop number and its classification and typification.
Likewise, each piece resulting from the division of the half carcass must be identified and traceable by means of a card containing the official establishment numbers of the troceador, troop and hock, date of production, name of the product and weight of the piece.
From the private sector the implementation of the new system has support and rejection.
On the one hand, the exporters, grouped in the Meat Exporters Consortium (ABC), not only support but also promote the measure.
On the contrary, the industry dedicated mainly to the domestic market, led by the Argentine Chamber of Slaughterers and Suppliers (Camya), rejects the initiative as “unfeasible.”
Along the same lines, the chambers associated with the Federation of Regional Meat Processing Industries (Fifra) announced that tomorrow – Monday – they will not receive finances and that “there will be no slaughter or meat distribution activity from Tuesday due to the validity of the regulations regarding cutting and the lack of authorization to use mechanical means for unloading”.