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April 21, 2021updated 11 May 2021 6:58pm

Brazil’s JBS earmarks investment for seven domestic plants

By Simon Harvey

Brazilian meat major JBS, which announced a deal this week to acquire European plant-based meat business Vivera, plans to invest the equivalent of US$305.2m in its local fresh protein and prepared foods facilities.

The BRL1.7bn investments will be centred on seven plants in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul and will be spread over three years from 2021 to 2023, JBS said, adding it is expanding the plants to meet domestic and overseas demand.

The project will lead to 2,700 new jobs in the state by the end of the term, adding to 1,700 positions created in Rio Grande last year, JBS noted. The company already employs 18,000 workers in the area.

Wesley Filho, the president of JBS’s South American operations and its flagship Seara brand, said: “As one of the largest global companies in the sector, JBS investments prove the fundamental role of Rio Grande do Sul as a food production hub that reaches different parts of the world.”

The seven factories earmarked for investment are located in seven cities within the state: Bom Retiro do Sul, Caxias do Sul, Nova Bassano, Passo Fundo, Santa Cruz do Sul, Seberi and Trindade do Sul.

JBS said "the planning for the three-year period until 2023 indicates that the region will continue to be a determining factor for global food production".

Earlier this week, JBS announced it had entered an agreement to acquire Netherlands-based Vivera, subject to clearance from competition authorities, in a deal valued at EUR341m (US$410.4m).

The Brazilian meatpacker is already present in the meat-free market. Its Seara line launched the Incrível plant-based burger in Brazil in 2019, and the following year Colorado-based Planterra Foods, owned by JBS, instigated a wider roll-out of the Ozo brand in the US.

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