BRAZIL – JBS, a global meat producer, has successfully resumed operations at its Friboi facility in Diamantino, Mato Grosso, Brazil, after a fire in June disrupted production.

The facility, which boasts a processing capacity of 3,600 heads of cattle per day, is now positioned to be the largest beef facility in Latin America, employing 3,000 workers across two shifts.

Currently processing 600 heads of cattle per day, the plant plans to increase its capacity to 1,800 in the coming weeks.

During the initial reopening phase, Diamantino will receive support for “complementary activities” from two other Friboi units located in Barra do Garças, Mato Grosso, and Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul.

This reopening involves a substantial investment of BRL 300 million (approximately US$61 million) in the factory.

Equipped with state-of-the-art machinery, the unit is now capable of processing 2.4 times more cattle than its previous capacity and is well-prepared to meet the stringent criteria of international markets, including halal processing.

Renato Costa, president of Friboi, emphasized the advanced features of the Diamantino factory, stating, that the facility will be equipped with modern automation and high technology in beef processing and freezing.

“The Diamantino factory is being equipped with the most modern automation and the highest technology in beef processing and freezing, with a focus on value-added products and portioned products,” he said.

“Upon completion of the plant expansion in 2024, Friboi’s Diamantino unit will feature “unprecedented structures,” including a freezing tunnel, an expanded area for vacuum product packaging, and a dedicated space for future production lines specializing in portioned beef cuts.”

Renato also highlighted that these factory enhancements will align with Friboi’s long-term goal of expanding the production of value-added products from the unit.

“The reopening of the Friboi factory is a significant step for JBS, marking the resumption of activities that were temporarily halted due to the fire,” he added.

“The increased processing capacity and improved facilities position the Diamantino unit to play a pivotal role in Friboi’s growth strategy and supply products to key markets served by the company.”

As part of this development, the company will also be better equipped to meet the main requirements of international markets, reinforcing JBS’s commitment to the global meat industry.

Earlier this year, the meat processor reopened its idle Juara beef processing plant in the state of Mato Grosso, which was closed at the end of 2021 as part of an “operational decision”.