Brazil's BRF CEO expects China to return to normalcy

BRF is the world's biggest chicken exporter
calendar icon 1 February 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Brazilian food processor BRF SA is optimistic about China's reopening after Chinese New Year celebrations signalled a return to normalcy in the food-importing country, Reuters reported, citing CEO Miguel Gularte, who spoke at a business conference on Tuesday.

Gularte said China's consumer behavior returned to pre-pandemic patterns, referring to traveling and dining out during the long Chinese holiday.

BRF, the world's biggest chicken exporter, made investments during the COVID-19 pandemic and is prepared for increasing food demand, according to the executive.

Gularte, who took the helm of the company in August, said the positive outlook is a boon and comes when BRF is in the middle of a turnaround.

"We know that whatever we produce we can sell," Gularte said. "This is a sector where demand is bigger than supply."

BRF has done its homework after years of management changes and disappointing operating performance, he said, adding that the company is ready "to evolve and create value."

As part of the turnaround, Gularte said BRF is keen to make its operations more flexible and capture food sales opportunities more quickly both domestically and abroad.

That, along with operational improvements under way, will allow managers to turn BRF around quicker than the market supposed, Gularte said.

Gularte said BRF slaughters 10 million hogs per year and 1.5 billion chickens.

Aside from China, the Middle East will continue to be a priority market for BRF, where it is a leading supplier of halal food made according to Muslim dietary requirements, Gularte said.

He said economies in the region are less susceptible to turbulence and this helps BRF build on its strength.

BRF processes pork and poultry and derives most of its revenue in the domestic market, where it plans to grow the market share of its well-known brands Sadia, Perdigao and Qualy, Gularte said.

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