KINGSTON, Jamaica: Tuesday March 28, 2017. The Jamaica Chamber of Commerce notes the Government of Jamaica’s quick action in response to reports out of Brazil concerning the quality of some meat products processed in specific facilities.

We recognize that the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture & Fisheries takes its role of protecting Jamaicans very seriously and we commend the Ministry’s commitment to put the health and safety of Jamaicans first.

The country has now been formally advised by the Embassy of the Federative Republic of Brazil in Jamaica that the investigation into a number of meat processing facilities in Brazil is underway and that none of the facilities under investigation are exporters of corned beef or other products to Jamaica. Similarly, a number of the country’s most reputable firms, have unequivocally confirmed that their products are sourced from facilities that meet the highest international standards. We have heard no claim to the contrary from the Ministry indicating that any Jamaican imports are suspected of originating in facilities under investigation.

In this context, we record our concern that the blanket ban that was issued and which remains in place includes products from facilities not under investigation. It is our view that once our importers and distributors are able to provide the appropriate documentation regarding the origin of their products, and confirm that they are fully standing behind their brands, then the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries should at the very least permit them to re-enter the market without any delay.

Both the agencies of government and the importers and distributors of the corned beef must move swiftly on repairing the trust and confidence of the consumer, while the GoJ and the Brazilian authorities should re-affirm the mutual confidence that each other’s phyto-sanitary regimes meet the highest international standards.