Brazilian meat company BRF has announced that two of its plants have been temporarily suspended from exporting poultry to Saudi Arabia.
In its securities filing, BRF said the reason for imposing the restriction was due to alleged irregularities in feed production.
Set by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), the temporary suspension involves its Dois Vizinhos and Francisco Beltrão plants, both located in Brazil’s Paraná state.
According to BRF, Dois Vizinhos was exporting approximately 6,000 tonnes a month to Saudi Arabia, while the Francisco Beltrão plant was not selling anything.
The allegation expands on investigations carried out between 2014 and 2018. The SFDA has requested further information regarding these alleged violations in feed production.
In March 2018, Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Supply and Livestock (MAPA) temporarily suspended the export of BRF’s poultry products to the EU following the company’s involvement in the ‘carne fraca’ food safety scandal. The verdict affected 10 of BRF’s 35 production facilities.
The so-called ‘carne fraca’ scandal caused Brazilian authorities to arrest BRF’s former CEO Pedro de Andrade Faria and other former BRF officials, alleging that BRF officials were aware that levels of salmonella in some of the company’s meat products exceeded regulatory limits.
Following the scandal, at least 35 countries banned or reduced exports of Brazilian meat, due to this overlook of potentially contaminated or rotten meat. This gravely affected BRF and other meat producers in the country.
BRF said it still possesses five plants with permissions to export to Saudi Arabia and has redirected production to its other plants until the situation is clarified.
Its Dois Vizinhos and Francisco Beltrão will continue to be utilised to serve other markets.
Meanwhile, in October last year, BRF announced plans to build a new $120m chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia.
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