Brazil-based meat giant JBS is spending BRL13m (US$3.7m) to expand hamburger production at two plants in the state of Sao Paulo amid rising demand from the foodservice sector.

Investment will focus on modernising production lines to meet customers’ ”stringent” quality requirements and the purchase of new equipment for the sites located at Lins and Osasco, with the latter getting BRL4m of the total funds.

JBS is seeking to raise output at the Lins factory by 30%, and to that end has created an extra working shift and taken on 130 additional staff.  

In a statement, JBS said: ”In addition to increasing production, the investments were also used to ensure the plants are able to maintain their high quality standards and meet customers’ expectations. JBS plans to continue expanding its retail and foodservice operations through on-going efficiency improvements.”

Annual profits more than doubled at JBS last year to BRL534m in what chief executive José Batista Sobrinho described as the ”best operational results in our history”. 

”In 2017, we ended another year with solid, consistent results that demonstrate our capacity to overcome challenges,” said Sobrinho following a year that included plant closures linked to a corruption scandal and the arrest of his sons over alleged insider trading.

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And the company is continuing to foster jobs after announcing in February that it planned to increase slaughtering capacity at its Barra do Garcas cattle facility in the state of Mato Grosso, with 400 jobs set to be created.