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28/04/2017 - 21:26hs

Arab ambassadors see poultry production operation

Diplomats visited a unit of company Seara in Rio Grande do Sul and were shown through the process, from slaughter to shipping. The plant they went to exports 90% of its output to the Middle East.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Diplomats watch a presentation about the plant

Montenegro – The Council of Arab Ambassadors in Brazil visited this Friday (28) a manufacturing unit owned by Seara, a JBS group company, in the city of Montenegro, near Porto Alegre, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. The diplomats witness of the production process all the way from the halal slaughter of chicken, carried out by Muslims, to packaging and shipping.

According to Seara’s Exports director for the Middle East, North Africa, Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States, Fábio Haubrich, 90% of the plant’s output gets shipped to the Middle East, especially Egypt.

Each day, 440,000 chickens get slaughtered, coming out to 450,000 tons of chicken, 20 tons of offal, plus 17 tons of chicken feet. The latter item gets shipped to the Asian market only.

According to Haubrich, the unit is the country’s second largest for griller-type chicken, the preferred product size in the Arab countries, and it is “always halal-oriented” – the halal denomination means an item has been produced in accordance with Islamic tradition, in order to be sold to Muslim countries. The plant is certified by Fambras Halal.

Alexandre Rocha/ANBA

Fonseca gives the ambassadors an explanation

The ambassadors were guided through the near-fully automated premises by plant manager Tiago Fonseca. Visitors are required to cover themselves from head to toe in a vest supplied by the company to prevent contamination. They must also wash their hands and rubber boots upon entering each wing. The list of cleansing procedures is a long one.

“The ambassadors had a close look at the health and safety procedures and the plant’s entire process, from the moment the animal comes in to the moment it’s packaged. Everything is automated and contamination-proof,” said the dean of the Council and ambassador of Palestine, Ibrahim Alzeben. This experience, according to him, enabled the ambassadors to witness how production takes place responsibly, and how the product is treated with thoroughness.

Ambassador and Arab Brazilian Chamber of Commerce vice president Osmar Chohfi, who was with the delegation, said the Arab diplomats were able to “see sanitary excellence, quality production, and state-of-the-art industrial facilities.”

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The delegation was shown through different steps of the production process

“They realized that sanitary and halal procedures are observed to the fullest,” said Arab Brazilian Chamber CEO Michel Alaby, who was also accompanying the delegation. The Middle East is the number one destination of Brazilian poultry exports.


The visit to the poultry plant happened on the second and final day of a mission of Arab ambassadors to Rio Grande do Sul. On Thursday, the diplomats met with the state governor, Ivo Sartori, with the acting mayor of Porto Alegre, Gustavo Paim, and with executives at the local federation of trade (Fecomércio).

“The visits to the governor and the mayor were chances to find out about the state’s potential from a government perspective. That was complemented by the meeting at Fecomércio, where we saw the industry, trade and corporate infrastructure that’s in place,” said Alzeben.

He also said actual opportunities came up over dinner at Fecomércio, as the diplomats expressed different needs of their countries, and the entrepreneurs discussed the goods and services they can offer.

“We got in touch with companies in different industries, such as recycled materials, prefabricated houses, beef, poultry, and footwear,” the dean said. The ambassador also pointed out that executives from Marcopolo and Tramontina, which are very active in the Arab countries, were in attendance. “This experience has yielded contacts that will bear fruit very soon,” he said.

Along the same lines, Chohfi said the mission had “concrete results.” “With the governor, the ambassadors had the chance to see the full potential of the state, in exports and imports, and they learned of chances to enhance bilateral trade,” he declared.

He believes the meeting with business owners proved “very fruitful, contacts-wise.” “It led to full-blown bilateral trade perspectives in different industries,” he said. “The visit made an extremely favorable impression,” he added.

Alaby underscored that a large number of business owners attended the meeting with the diplomats. “This allowed them to network amongst themselves to buy and sell,” he asserted.

The Arab Brazilian Chamber CEO also noted that the called on the governor for support in persuading the Brazilian federal government to work on agreements with Arab countries to encourage and protect investments and to prevent double income taxation in bilateral investments, which would help fuel Brazilian-Arab business even further.

The delegation comprised the ambassadors of Iraq, Arshad Esmaeel, of Egypt, Alaaeldin Roushdy, of Libya, Khaled Dahan, of Kuwait, Ayadah Alsaidi, of Qatar, Mohammed Al Hayki, of Jordan, Malek Twal, of Algeria, Toufik Dahmani, of Sudan, Ahmed Elsiddig, of Mauritania, Wagen Abdoulaye, of Oman, Amad Al Abri, of the Arab League, Nacer Alem, the chargé d’affaires to the embassy of Saudi Arabia, Soliman Al Aqeel, and the head of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry’s Gulf and Arabian Peninsula Division, Leandro Mol.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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