Argentine beef processor Swift has laid off 735 or 30% of its workforce to survive a government mandate to freeze exports for 180 days, the company confirmed on Tuesday (18 April).


Institutional Relations Director Alejandro Fried said the job cuts took place in Swift’s Villa Gobernador Galvez and San Jose factories in the provinces Rosario and Entre Rios respectively.


He declined to provide more details about the redundancies at Swift, a 2,500-strong enterprise majority owned by Brazil’s Friboi Group.

Swift sells a range of frozen and canned beef cuts and meat-based products and sausages. The company, which exports 70% of its production, is one of many beef suppliers hit by the state’s decision to halt exports and coax Argentineans to cut their beef consumption.


Argentina launched the initiatives in March to curb soaring beef prices, which it says have spurred inflation and undermined the country’s economic recovery.


Argentine unions have demanded the government provide aid for Swift workers, who are not eligible for redundancy compensation, according to a report on local newswire DYN.
Argentina, billed as the world’s biggest per-capita beef consumer, exports 20% of its beef output.