Argentina president talks to meat firm to boost economic growth

By Oscar Rousseau

- Last updated on GMT

BRF told Mauricio Macri it has a commitment to financial growth in Argentina
BRF told Mauricio Macri it has a commitment to financial growth in Argentina

Related tags: Brf, Meat processor, Argentina, International trade, Beef, Pork, Poultry

Argentina’s reform-minded president Mauricio Macri met with executives of BRF this week, as the meat processor eyes up a mouth-watering investment in South America’s third-largest economy.

BRF has confirmed it sent a number of senior executives to Argentina seeking the centre-right president Macri to green-light a $292m investment for the processor to expand in Argentina.

The meat processor harbours hopes that its investment will create a launchpad to boost free trade between Mercosur [Latin American trade bloc] members Brazil and Argentina.

For the Argentine presidency, authorising the expansion makes economic sense: BRF is based in Brazil, which shares its southern border with Argentina, and allowing the company to expand in its neighbouring country could help stimulate a stuttering economy.

Growth commitment

Argentina posted a trade deficit of around $3bn in 2015. And when Mauricio Macri succeeded former president Cristina Kirchner in December 2015, he suspended the publication of all official government data as the country struggled to drum up trade.

The meeting between BRF and Argentina’s president could be the start of a new dawn. BRF’s global CEO Pedro Faria said its investment in Argentina was about “reaffirming our commitment to economic growth in Argentina​”.

We are convinced that the way forward for the coming years is to optimise the free trade in goods and services between Mercosur members and other trading partners, to make Brazil and Argentina an export platform to the world.​”

Buoyant Brazilian profit

Part of the meat processor’s $292m investment has already been used to acquire pork producers Southern Field and Calchaqui​. Other funds have been used to upgrade and expand its production capabilities in the country.

We are confident in the potential of Argentina, especially in its people,​” said Abilio Diniz, chairman of the BRF board.

Being so close to Brazil, Argentina represents a significant market for BRF​: it posted pre-tax profits of $122m (BRL $438m), an 11.2% rise on the same period a year earlier.

It is currently responsible for nine branded meat products sold in Argentina: Paty, Southern Field, Sadia, Danica, Vienissima, Good Mark, Bocatti, Manty and Delicia.

BRF claims to be one of the largest food companies in the world, and specialises in the raising, slaughtering and processing of pork and poultry. It has more than 105,000 employees across 35 factories in Brazil and 16 abroad (nine in Argentina, one in the UK, one in the Netherlands, four in Thailand and one in the UAE).

Related topics: Meat

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