UPDATE 1-Brazilian meatpacker BRF to hire 2,000 workers amid coronavirus outbreak

(Adds additional details from call)

SAO PAULO, April 1 (Reuters) - Brazilian meatpacker BRF SA said on Wednesday it will hire an additional 2,000 workers, both in-house and outsourced, in order to maintain its production levels.

BRF Chief Executive Lorival Luz said the hirings would take place in Brazil and other countries. The company will not fire workers in April or May, when the coronavirus outbreak is expected to worsen in Latin America, Luz said on a call with journalists.

The company has not closed any factories, seen a drop in sales or had disruptions in its supply chains amid the outbreak, he said.

But sales are increasingly shifting to retail outlets like grocery stores, he said, as Brazilians eat out less during the crisis.

The company is “well-positioned” and “comfortable” in terms of its corn inventory levels, Luz said. Corn is used by meatpackers to feed livestock. (Reporting by Alberto Alerigi Writing by Jake Spring Editing by Paul Simao)