Brazilian meat major JBS has reopened its idle Juara beef processing plant in the state of Mato Grosso.
A spokesperson for JBS told Just Food the Juara site was closed at the end of 2021 as part of an “operational decision”. It reopened for business yesterday (17 July).
The factory will also absorb demand from another facility in Mato Grosso, based in the municipality of Diamantino, the spokesperson added. That plant is earmarked for 800m reais ($167m) of investment for modernisation following a fire at the site, JBS revealed last month.
Both the Juara and Diamantino sites are operated by JBS’ Friboi business unit, which produces beef products under the same brand name.
JBS said in a statement today 350 jobs have been created at Juara, on top of the 1,450 at Diamantino. The company aims to create about 2,000 jobs across its Mato Grosso operations by the end of the year.
Friboi president Renato Costa said: “The reopening of our plant in Juara is further proof of Friboi’s commitment to our suppliers in the region and to the state of Mato Grosso.
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“With this move, we will ensure adequate productive capacity locally, in addition to reinforcing our condition of relevance for the generation of employment and income in the state.”
Production at Juara will be rolled out in stages, starting with the processing of 300 head of cattle.
“The plant has a processing capacity of 700 head and has logistical positioning that guarantees access to important producing regions. In addition, it is well located to supply domestic demand and has the skills to serve important markets abroad,” JBS said.
Costa added the Diamantino facility will be Friboi’s largest in Brazil. “It is further proof of how strategic the region is for Friboi and of our willingness to continue contributing to local economic development,” he said.
JBS’ latest investment project follows the announcement last week the company was revisiting a New York stock-market listing, giving the meat giant dual access to investor funds in Brazil and the US.
The world’s largest meatpacker completed an IPO in Sao Paulo in 2007 and had been touting a US listing since at least 2016. It put the plans on ice in 2017 amid a corruption scandal centered around the company’s controlling shareholder, J&F Investimentos, and two members of the Batista family that ran the investment firm.