Company Looking to Sell Slaughter System to Arabs

BRAZIL - The consolidation of the Arab market and the fact that Muslim countries do not consume pork are some of the attractive aspects to GA Tecnologia, a company based in São Paulo that aims to sell its chicken slaughter systems to the North Africa and Middle East.
calendar icon 9 January 2012
clock icon 4 minute read

According to Brazil-Arab News Agency, the company already exports to more than 30 different countries, and it expects to increase its client portfolio this year.

Established in 1984, the enterprise initially made chicken rating scales, which are used to screen animals according to their weight. In 1998, GA launched a new slaughtering system: electronarcosis, a method through which the animal is immersed in water to receive an electric discharge. It remains unconscious for a few seconds so its neck can be slit.

According to the company’s managing partner, Luiz Storino Filho, GA developed the stunner, a device which applies the electric discharge without killing the animal. This system prevents the chicken from producing enzymes and hormones which render the meat unfit for consumption. The second, improved version of the system was released in 2007, with a more effective system. The improved version prevents the electric discharge from killing the chicken, for instance.

According to Mr Storino, some of Brazil’s leading chicken meat processing companies, such as BRFoods and Marfrig, use his system. In Argentina, he says, the four leading chicken slaughter companies account for 80 per cent of the market, and they all use GA’s system.
The company has clients in Europe, the United States and Southeast Asia as well. Now, it wants to break into the Arab market. The reason for such, according to Storino, is the opportunities that the market has to offer.

"Of course this reality [of crisis in wealthy countries] influences the company’s decision, but that was not why we decided to seek the Muslim countries and African nations. I believe the African market is going through a process of maturing. And that is not all. In countries which consume pork and beef, chicken is never the first choice. In Muslim countries, where people do not eat pork, it is one of the top choices for consumption," he says.

Currently, exports account for 50 per cent of company revenues, and Mr Storino aims to boost foreign sales by 50 per cent this year. "Out of each couple of devices we make, one stays in Brazil and the other gets shipped abroad," he says.

He claims that the consolidation of the markets and means of production in African countries is taking place as local agriculture develops and animal slaughter becomes professionalized. In some African countries, in India, and even in the Brazilian Northeast, customers will often buy the chicken either live or dead, pluck and clean the animal before cooking it.

Mr Storino has not yet decided which country will first receive GA’s investment and products, but claims that he intends to enter the Muslim market through Turkey, which is not an Arab country, and to break into the African continent through Angola. However, he claims, the first investment target will be determined not by his preference, but rather by the "opportunities" that come up.

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, from January to November 2011 Brazil exported US$ 2.43 billion worth of chicken and processed chicken products to the Arab countries. The figure represents a 15.62 per cent increase over the same period of 2010.

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