Some 170 thousand artisan cheese producers across Brazil will be able to sell their products to other states with a quality seal dubbed Selo Arte. The certification allows artisan food items to be traded countrywide, provided sanitary and manufacture requirements are met and good farming practices ensured.
Despite being issued at federal level, quality inspection will be done by state watchdogs. The decree regulating Selo Arte, which at first will be effective only for dairy, was signed by President Jair Bolsonaro.
“Selo Arte may seem like something small, but its repercussion is fantastic. Our small producers were restrained by a legislation dated from the 50s, and in practice banned from trading these artisan goods outside of their states,” said Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina on Thursday (18) during a ceremony marking the 200 days of the Bolsonaro administration.
Source and exports
The seal will include information on the geographic origin of products. Later on, it will be implemented on certain meat, fish, and bee products.
Brazilian cheese products with their source specified will be more easily exported, even to the European Union (EU), after the Mercosur–EU deal signed last month is brought into force, the minister said.
“Cheese from Minas Gerais [state] is now as famous as, or more famous than, French cheese. In June this year, we bagged 59 medals at the world cheese championship in Tours, France, and the cheese was taken in the luggage, because they couldn’t go legally. Now it’s all formalized,” the minister went on to note.
The minister described Selo Arte as a stride in the modernization of Brazil’s artisanal agribusiness.
Tereza Cristina signed a norm bearing the Selo Arte logo and two regulatory instructions—the first on good practices for dairy products, the second with certification procedures.
The public will be allowed to make contributions and express their opinion on the instructions for 30 days.