Brazil's BRF to halt Halal chicken plant for modernization work

FILEPHOTO: A logo of Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA is seen in the headquarters in Curitiba, Brazil October 1, 2019. REUTERS/Rodolfo Buhrer

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian food processor BRF SA will stop production at a Halal chicken plant in the south of the country starting Nov. 16 for modernization work, the company said on Wednesday.

The halt was reported in the local press and later confirmed by BRF, which said the work will be complete by Dec. 5.

“The objective of the measure is to adapt production to market demand,” BRF said in a statement to Reuters, without elaborating.

Sintac, a union representing food workers, told Reuters the plant has 1,600 workers. It is certified to sell Halal chicken, produced in accordance with Muslim dietary requirements, Sintac said.

The plant’s previous export license to sell to Saudi Arabia, a big market for Halal food, was suspended in September 2018, according to the agriculture ministry’s website. Sintac confirmed the suspension remains.

BRF, the world’s largest chicken exporter, did not have an immediate comment on its status.

BRF processes 3,000 birds per hour at the plant in the town of Carambeí, according to data on the agriculture ministry’s website, which shows Hong Kong is the other major meat export destination served by the plant.

Reporting by Ana Mano; Editing by Tom Brown