Photo: A BRF office in the city of Itajaí in southern Brazil, Santa Catarina, on April 26, 2017. Lucas Mt/Shutterstock

Halal Industry

Saudi Arabia food authority suspends approval for two BRF poultry plants in Brazil


The Saudi Food and Drug Authority has temporarily suspended approval for two plants run by BRF in Brazil, that export poultry to the Kingdom.

The suspension is dated Feb 10, according to the SFDA website.

Saudi Arabia currently approves poultry exports from 19 other plants, four of which belong to BRF. All 21 operate slaughterhouses and export offals.

Industry representatives from the Brazilian Animal Protein Association (ABPA) and the Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce told Brazil-Arab News Agency (ANBA) that they are not aware of the reasons for the suspension and that they are working to get answers and re-open the two plants. 

ANBA quoted Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce secretary-general Tamer Mansour as saying the two plants account for 20% of the country’s poultry sales to Saudi Arabia.

Poultry exports from Brazil to Arab countries were down 3.5% year-on-year in January to 97,952 tonnes, according to ANBA citing ABPA data.

Sales were down 9% to 35,150 tonnes to Saudi Arabia, and down 18% to 21,100 tonnes to the United Arab Emirates.

BRF is one of Brazil’s biggest animal protein companies. It announced in October last year it was investing $120 million in a new chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia.

The company is a major halal meat exporter. In August last year it reported that 59% of the 505 thousand tons it sold internationally in the second-quarter of 2019 were halal.

40% of its supply to the halal markets in 2018 were locally manufactured in the Middle East, according to its annual report.

In Islamic countries, BRF has a manufacturing plant in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and three in nearby Turkey. It also operates a plant in Malaysia.

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