Small Breeders' Profits will Rise After WTO Ruling on Country of Origin Labeling

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Press Release No. 143
Mexico City, July 2 2012


The World Trade Organization's (WTO) ruling in favor of Mexico on country of origin labeling (COOL) for meat products applied by the United States Government (which affects the export of feeder calves), will mean an economic recovery for Mexico's livestock breeders of more than US$140 million per year.

The international organization's decision will stimulate primary sector production, especially the income of small producers, since the US legislation means an additional expenditure of around US$95 per head.

Besides the growth of exports to the United States, which in 2011 was around 1.5 million head with a commercial value of 600 million pesos, so far this year sales of a million calves have been reported.

At a press conference led by the Secretaries of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, and Agriculture, Francisco Mayorga Castañeda, the President of the National Confederation of Livestock Organizations (CNOG), Oswaldo Cházaro Montalvo, recognized the Federal Government's efforts to protect the interests of the national livestock sector through the coordinated participation of authorities and producers.

He explained that of the five to six million calves Mexico produces, only one to one and a half million are exported, guaranteeing the domestic meat market.

Speaking of added value processes, Mr. Cházaro reported that more than 120,000 tons of meat products are sold every year, compared to around 30,000 tons sold abroad three years ago.

Meanwhile, the Secretary of Economy, Bruno Ferrari, said that this represents another victory for Mexico on equal conditions and clear rules to build a fairer and more equitable market.

He mentioned that international agrifood trade represents significant growth for Mexico, and the defense undertaken by this administration demonstrates an interest in protecting the rights of livestock producers and pushing growth and development.

He emphasized that, “In the midst of climatic adversity, Mexico and its producers have shown their strength by increasing feeder cattle exports by up to 50 percent in 2011."

The head of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), Francisco Mayor Castañeda, said the resolution eliminates protectionist practices bringing certainty to the sector and international trade.

He explained that more than 100,000 livestock breeders, mainly from the north of Mexico, found a market for their animals in the United States, enabling them to avoid economic losses in the wake of adverse weather in recent months.

In the press conference held in the SAGARPA head offices, both officials expressed confidence that the US Government would properly comply with the WTO recommendations, to which Mexico reiterated its promise to strengthen and broaden their trade relations.

Also participating in the event were the Undersecretary of Foreign Trade of the SE, Francisco De Rosenzweig; the Director in Chief of the National Service of Health, Food Safety, and Food Quality (SENASICA), Enrique Sánchez Cruz, and the General Coordinator of Livestock of the SAGARPA, Everardo González Padilla.


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