August 2021 – For the second year, pre-inspection of tobacco, required by the bilateral trade agreement protocol between Brazil and China, occurred without the presence of the technicians from the General Administration of China Customs (GACC) due to the pandemic. In an agreement with the GACC, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (Mapa) became responsible for collecting the samples of processed tobacco and for sending them to the Analysis Center at the University of Santa Cruz do Sul (UNISC) for laboratory tests that attest to the phytosanitary status of Brazilian tobacco prior to shipment.
The official conclusion of the activities took place on Tuesday, August 17, by videoconference, and attracted representatives from the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco), exporting companies, MAPA, State Surveillance and Plant Health organs, China Tobacco International in Brazil (CTIB) and from the UNISC.
SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke gave an overview of the tobacco scenario in the Brazilian market. “Brazil has managed to keep its annual exports at about 500 thousand tons, which attests to a stable position in the global market in spite of the pandemic scenario and all its social and economic consequences. Within this context, China is a relevant commercial partner”, Schünke said.
The executive director of SindiTabaco also commented that the MAPA has provided extremely important services, and always very quickly, in matters related to the supply chain. He also evaluated the importance of the sector in keeping active during the pandemic. “Farmers sold their crops, the companies gave continuity to their activities and hired thousands of workers, thus keeping the economy growing in hundreds of municipalities in the South region”, he commented.
The technician responsible for the Analysis Center at Unisc, professor Adriana Dupont Schneider, insisted that it took 20 days of intensive work. “We analyzed 53 lots, from eight companies, with the aim to attest to the physical quality of the tobacco relative to nine pests, included in the trade agreement between Brazil and China, comprising two types of weeds, six different insects and one kind of fungus. No viable structures of these quarantine pests were detected, result that ensures the quality of the tobacco to be exported to China”, she declared.
Helena Pan Rugeri, federal superintendent of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply in Rio Grande do Sul, commemorated the good results. “We managed to meet China’s requirements and this year we have the biggest certified volume since the mission started. It is very hard work in a period of great difficulties for all, and even more relevant for Rio Grande do Sul, a state that earns hefty revenue from tobacco exports”, Rugeri commented, equally mentioning the permanent work and dedication of MAPA’s fiscal auditors.
Roque Danieli, federal agricultural tax auditor at MAPA’s Superintendency in RS, evaluated the constant evolution of the quality of the analyzed Brazilian tobacco. “During the inspections there were no findings that could jeopardize the quality of tobacco, attesting that the qualitative and phytosanitary aspects are evolving year after year. Furthermore, in the farms that we audited, we did not find any pesticide not recommended for tobacco fields, which also represents a conquest of the supply chain and of the training programs conducted by the companies. We recommend the continuity of the guiding efforts for maintaining these levels of the physical and chemical quality of tobacco, and for the prevention of quarantine pests”, Danieli concluded.
Xinghua Zhou, president of China Tobacco International in Brazil (CTIB), thanked SindiTabaco for its collaboration, and expressed his gratitude to MAPA and UNISC for their serious efforts in conducting these works, and also thanked the eight Brazilian suppliers that ship their tobacco to China. “It made us happy to learn that all inspections had positive results. I believe that the GACC will appreciate our results and we hope that in 2022 we will again be able to count on you”, the official said.
Débora Maria Rodrigues Cruz, head of the Quarantine Treatment Inspection Division of the Ministry of Agriculture in Brasília, mentioned the constant evolution of the quality and of the technical standards in the production of Brazilian tobacco. “The supply chain deserves praise for achieving this high level, whilst continuing seeking even higher quality levels, especially in the case of monitoring and control over quarantine pests. SindiTabaco’s work is equally important in that it brings together the players that take part in this important step. On behalf of the plant health department I compliment all of you on the chances to improve this business even further in the future, thus keeping this market open”, she declared at the conclusion of the activity.
Photo: Junio Nunes
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