Brazilian Beef Giant Downsizing

A month after the company commenced a restructuring process under Brazilian and U.S. insolvency laws, Brazilian beef processor Independencia SA announced the closure of three units and the laying off 1,400 workers in response to lower demand for beef and falling prices, the privately-owned company said on Wednesday.

The firm is closing a slaughter house and deboning plant in Mato Grosso in addition to a deboning plant and a distribution centre in Sao Paulo state. The closures are in addition to two other factories, in Goias and Mato Grosso do Sul states, that the company announced were closing last month.

"The closure of these units is part of an ongoing program to adjust Independencia’s operations to the current market reality, which was severely hit by lower international demand, meat oversupply both in the domestic and the export market, and falling meat prices," Independencia said in a statement.

Since the beginning of what the company called its "adjustment program," the company has closed eight of its 23 plants and laid off 6,200 workers.