Based in the city of Juruena, the factory sits in the north-west corner of Mato Grosso state, one of the heartlands of beef production in Brazil.
Frigol’s abattoir will be able kill and cut 1,000 head of cattle per day. It was built to bolster the meatpacker’s strategy of exporting premium beef to the US, the EU and Russia.
Around 450 jobs have been created, with the plant set to open in the second half of February. Frigol expects to hire around 150 more people in the second half of the year, bringing its total workforce to 3,000.
“With this investment, the company will start operating in the state with the largest cattle herd in the country and will increase its total slaughtering capacity to 80,000 head per month,” said the company’s CEO Luciano Pascon in a press statement.
It is the second investment in quick succession for Frigol, after it splashed cash on a new cold storage facility at its plant in Cachoeira Alta in November 2017.
Frigol claims to be the fourth-largest beef processor in Brazil, behind JBS, Marfrig and Minerva. The latter two and Frigol have built a head of steam recently, after Brazil was rocked by a rotten meat scandal in March 2017. JBS has since been plunged into chaos after its billionaire owners, Wesley and Joesley Batista, faced allegations of bribery, corruption and insider trading.
Frigol eyes growth
Providing the new factory delivers the results desired by Frigol, revenue could grow by 60% to R$2.4bn (US$740m) this year, according to the company. To encourage this growth, Frigol said it would invest US$10m in new machinery to fit the plant with the best available processing equipment.
“The Juruena plant is modern and will be prepared for qualification to the most important markets in the world, such as the European Union, the United States and Russia,” added Pascon.