Australia And Brazil Vital In Supplying World Beef Needs

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8th April 2008, 05:29pm - Views: 956

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         Media Release


April 8, 2008



Australia and Brazil vital in supplying world beef needs

The CEO of one of Brazil’s largest beef processing companies sees global beef

demand continuing to increase with Australia well positioned to meet this growth. 

Brazil has positioned itself as the world newest beef powerhouse. With a national herd of 210 million

head and growing - Brazil can not be ignored. But according to Fernando Galletti de Queiroz, chief

executive officer of Minerva, the fourth largest meat processor and third largest exporter in Brazil -

there is plenty of marketshare to go around.

Mr Queiroz was recently brought to Australia by Rabobank, to provide Australian beef producers with

a first hand knowledge of trends in the Brazilian beef industry.

During his seven day visit Mr Queiroz was the guest speaker at presentations in several states with a

number of leading beef producers present.

Mark Bennett, Rabobank State Manager for Victoria and Tasmania, said they were pleased to be able

to bring visiting experts like Mr Queirzo to Australia.

“One of the best ways to manage change is through knowledge.  Through Fernando’s presentations,

we have been able to explore how Brazil operates first hand, which has been extremely valuable to us

and to the beef producers that attended our forums,” Mr Bennett said.

Mr Queiroz’s message to Australian producers was clear - the days of cheap food are over and the

world will depend on countries like Brazil and Australia to meet that demand.

“I believe the world can pay higher prices for things like beef, chicken, and pork, it is already

happening,” he said.

“There will be a lot more volatility, but suppliers of food will have much more power then we had


Brazil currently produces 18 per cent of the worlds’ beef, consuming domestically nearly 80 per cent

of its current production Mr Queiroz said in Brazil beef is the preferred source of protein over chicken

and pork, which are both cheaper.

He said increased domestic consumption has been driven by higher economic growth and this

scenario is happening world wide. “Consumption is booming in lower social classes globally and that

is the consumer Brazil is targeting,” he said.

Brazil boasts the largest and fastest growing commercial herd in the world and is expanding beef

exports in both the fresh and frozen market. “Since 2003 the Brazilian herd has grown by nearly 15

million head,” he said.

“On top of this we have 394 million ha available and we are currently only using 68 million ha. There

is a lot of potential. There is a big shift to the north and wherever the cattle go the industry follows.”

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         Media Release


April 8, 2008



Brazil’s increase in production has also been matched by improvements in genetics and the fact they

do not rely on just one product.

Mr Queiroz said most farms grow two to three crops - a combination of soybeans and cattle or cattle,

corn and sugar cane giving the farmer much more flexibility.

“The majority of our cattle are on grass feed so we are not impacted directly by grain prices. If grain

prices are going up that is good for Brazil as it widens the gap between our grass fed and other

countries grainfed beef,” Mr Queiroz said.

“We also have minimal labour costs with the average farm worker only averaging about $200 to $250

USDA per month. In addition we have  a very good  climate with an average rainfall of 1500

millimetres per year which means we can  run an  average of 1 head per ha up to 11 head per ha.” 

Brazil is also becoming a significant player in live cattle trade.  While a relatively new industry Mr

Queiroz admits they are benchmarking themselves on Australia’s live cattle industry.

“We can still use older vessels, but that is under discussion, we are raising our standards in live

exports, but our main challenge remains the transport of the animals.”

About 80 per cent of the Brazilian herd are Bos Indicus Brahman and Nelore which are a Zebu Bos

indicus cross. They also have been crossing Nelore with Angus and Blonde Aquitaine breeds.


“Nelore adapt better to north Brazil which is closer to the equator, where in the south they tend to use

more cross breeds,” he said, adding that farms are also retaining cows now to build herds.

Brazils key export markets are the European Union, Russia, Egypt and the Middle East.

It does not have access to most of Australia’s traditional  markets like Japan, Korea, Mexico, Canada

or USA despite the fact that it supplies one third of the world beef exports.

And to have any chance of ever accessing these markets Mr Queiroz said Brazil must improve its

sanitary status.

“A big problem for us is that we are part of a big continent and there have been outbreaks of Foot and

Mouth Disease (FMD) on our borders,” he said.

“We can’t control our neighbours so Brazil has decided to help eradicate FMD by donating vaccine to

neighbouring countries. This will be better for us.  It will be difficult or us to access other markets

unless we eradicate this disease from the whole continent,” he said.

Going forward Mr Queiroz believes Australia and Brazil can share their experience.

“The time of cheap food is gone forever and we are in the business of the future the world needs us

and we are ready.”

Rabobank Australia is a part of the international Rabobank Group, the world’s leading

specialist in food and agribusiness banking. Rabobank has more than 100 years’ experience

providing customised banking and finance solutions to businesses involved in all aspects of

food and agribusiness.  Rabobank has a AAA credit rating and is ranked as one of the world’s

safest bank by Global Finance magazine. Rabobank operates in 42 countries, servicing the

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         Media Release


April 8, 2008



needs of more than nine million clients worldwide through a network of more than 1500 offices

and branches. Rabobank Australia is one of Australia’s leading rural lenders and a significant

provider of business and corporate banking and financial services to the Australian food and

agribusiness sector.  The bank has 49 locations throughout Australia.

< ENDS >

Media contacts: 

Denise Shaw

Jen Reid

Public Relations

Public Relations

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand

Rabobank Australia & New Zealand

Phone:  (02) 8115-2744

Phone: (02) 8115-4861



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