Brisbane’s Australian Country Choice butcher shop suspended from exports to China
A ninth Australian meat factory has been suspended from trade in meat to China.
Brisbane-based Australian Country Choice (ACC) was alerted by Australian authorities this morning that its trade with China was suspended from October 18.
In a statement, ACC said Chinese officials have detected a chemical often used to treat bacterial infections in dogs in meat that has been processed at its Cannon Hill slaughterhouse.
“The reasons provided to the Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment (DAWE) by the Chinese authorities were that the frozen products received in China had failed a random sampling test for chloramphenicol on the products. of beef inspected at the Ningbo port of entry, “the ACC statement said.
“Random product testing that could identify this drug is also being carried out at other ports of entry to the EU, Korea and Japan, among others.
“DAWE has informed ACC that it has not received any recent notices of detections from import agencies in these markets.”
The ministry requested a second test to confirm the results.
The ACC said chloramphenicol was a drug used to treat bacterial infections in dogs and sometimes horses, but was not prescribed for use in cattle in Australia.
The private company made it clear that the meat in question was not raised on a feedlot or ACC farm.
“Although the beef product that failed the test was not an ACC, or ACC breeding or feedlots, it was processed on behalf of a non-branded non-packer export customer and exported. under ACC Establishment License 1620, ”ACC said.
“With supply chain processes outside of VAC’s control, this is clearly a huge disappointment and a major disruption to its business and the branded programs of its customers in China. “
ACC, which has the capacity to process up to 1,400 head of cattle per day, said it would now look to other markets for its beef.
“The department is currently working with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) to manage the suspension and seek more clarity for the establishment concerned,” a DAWE spokesperson told ABC.
ACC becomes the ninth Australian meat plant to be suspended from trade with China since May of last year.
Federal Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said the suspensions were a “reminder of the need for us to create, maintain and expand market access for all of our agricultural exporters.”
“Despite the information provided to the Chinese authorities and our efforts to at the government, departmental, diplomats and advisers level, the suspensions remain in place, “Littleproud said in a statement.
The list of affected deli meats includes the John Dee factory in Queensland, which was also linked to concerns about chloramphenicol in meat.
The industry has estimated the cost of the business disruption caused by the suspensions to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
China continues to be one of the most lucrative markets for Australian red meat and the ABC understands that 35 Australian meat factories remain eligible to export to China.
ACC is the first Australian slaughterhouse to be suspended from trade with China since December.
In May of last year, Kilcoy Pastoral Company, the JBS-owned Beef City near Toowoomba and Dinmore, near Brisbane, and the New South Wales Northern Cooperative Meat Company at Casino were suspended.
Queensland slaughterhouses John Dee and Meramist followed suit.
Two Victorian slaughterhouses – Australian Lamb Company and JBS Brooklyn – were also taken off the list of selling meat to China when workers contracted COVID-19.
They are still waiting to resume trade, although China has allowed other meat factories around the world to resume trade under similar circumstances.