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Two BRF poultry plants in Brazil banned from exporting to Saudi Arabia

Brazilian food processor BRF SA said on Monday that two of its plants have been temporarily suspended from exporting poultry to Saudi Arabia due to alleged irregularities in feed production revealed by a probe conducted between 2014 and 2018.

17 February 2020, at 4:14pm

BRF said one of the two plants targeted by the ban was not selling anything to Saudi Arabia, reported Reuters.

The other was exporting around 6,000 tonnes per month to Saudi Arabia. Both are located in Brazilian Southern state of Paraná.

In a securities filing, the company said that five other plants are still permitted to export poultry to Saudi Arabia and that it has started to redirect production until the ongoing probe is concluded.

Brazilian federal prosecutors in December formally charged 11 people in connection with a criminal investigation accusing BRF, the world’s largest chicken exporter, of evading food safety checks.

The individuals charged, including two former vice-presidents for quality, stood accused of using banned substances and misrepresenting to regulators the amount of certain ingredients used to produce feed premix.

BRF shares were trading virtually flat on the São Paulo stock exchange following the ban’s announcement.

The company said it has been cooperating with the Brazilian and international authorities investigating alleged irregularities in its industrial processes.

In October, BRF announced an agreement to invest around $120 million to build its first chicken processing plant in Saudi Arabia in a bid to strengthen its position in a key growth market.