Argentinian Beef with Political Intervention

ARGENTINA - Despite of an excellent beef producing climate, Argentinian beef may soon become a thing of the past, due to the continual hampering of political intervention and harmful rules.
calendar icon 19 September 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Argentina has the reputation founded over the last 150 years of producing some of the very best beef in the world from its vast herds of cattle which are reared naturally on the pampas.

However, The Scotsman has learned that there is a real danger than instead of being a major exporter of beef to a wide range of countries, Argentina may soon become a net importer.

Malcolm Rodman, who runs a ranch as well as being an industry consultant, told the news agency: "The production of beef in our country will soon disappear due to the continual restrictions that dishearten investments and are leading to the liquidation of cows and herds in general."

According to information from the Scotsman, breeders are operating at a continual loss. In most areas of the country production costs of calves far exceed income. Mr Rodman said: "This crisis adds to losses incurred by a serious drought that has already seen a death toll of around one million head."

The basic problem in Argentina is political instability, with the authorities under pressure to control consumer inflation. Making life difficult for farmers, however, is not the answer, according to Rodman, who is a regular visitor to Scotland.

He said: "The continual intervention by the government in the cattle and beef markets and the unending restrictions on exports are destroying the cattle business and damaging Argentina's image as a serious provider of food products.

"The result of the implementation of these rulings has only produced an increase in the price of beef to the consumer and a fall in returns to the farmer. This has generated a transfer in profits within the beef chain, with farmers losing money at an increasing rate."

Acquiring accurate figures from South American countries is notoriously difficult, but exports of fresh and chilled beef from Argentina fell by 25 per cent in the first six months of this year from 54,000 tonnes to 35,000 tonnes, reports The Scotsman. Sales of frozen beef over the same period declined from 61,100 tonnes to 57,300 tonnes.

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