AveSui América Latina 2022   /   April 26-28
Dec 02, 2020 11:44

In series of reports, Paraná points strength of animal protein cooperatives

Series presenting some cooperatives that produce meat and derivatives

Agricultural cooperatives from Paraná have increasingly invested in the industrialization of their products. In order to add greater value to the production of its cooperative members, agro-industries have become powers spread throughout the state, generating jobs, income and many products, which go straight to the final consumer's table.

According to data from the Organization of Cooperatives of Paraná (Ocepar), in the State there are 215 cooperatives, of which 60 are from the agricultural sector. In all, there are 2 million cooperativemembers and the sector generates about 100,000 direct jobs throughout Paraná. 

There are 79 agro-industries linked to cooperatives, 10 soybean oil industries, 12 wheat and corn mills, 30 feed industries, 16 meat, chicken and pork industries, as well as eight milk processing plants.

In the series of reports on companies and products "Made in Paraná", we present some cooperatives that produce meat and derivatives.

According to Ocepar, there are 19 cooperatives in the state with agro-industries in the meat segment (which include cattle, pigs, chickens, fish and lambs). Most of them are dedicated to the production of pork products. There are 11 in all and Alegra is one of them.

Based in Castro, the unit slaughters 3,200 pigs per day and produces about 140 tons of products daily, which leads to a monthly average of 3,300 tons of industrialized meat per month. 

According to Valdomiro Santuches, manager of industrial operations at Alegra, in addition to its own brand products, the factory industrializes products for the Boua and Ceratti brands, from Goiás and São Paulo, respectively. "In addition, we have customers for whom we are the exclusive suppliers, as is the case with Madero. All the bacon used in their restaurant chain is produced by us. And 80% of all the bacon used at McDonalds in Brazil also comes out of here," he explains.

In addition to serving the entire national market, Alegra's products are exported to 33 countries. There are 1,600 employees in the Castro unit, which makes the cooperative the largest employer in the region. The company is part of the Unium group, which brings together the Frisian, Castrolanda and Capal cooperatives.



Another giant in the sector, Frimesa, is investing heavily in the production of processed pork. The inauguration of the largest pork slaughterhouse in Latin America is scheduled to open in Assis Chateaubriand, in the Western Region, in 2023.

 The complex, with 147,000 square meters of built area, will have the capacity to slaughter 15,000 pigs daily, resulting from an investment of R$ 2.5 billion. There will be 5,500 direct jobs, which reach 8,500 when the indirect ones are counted.

All this production will make the cooperative gain national and international scale. Currently, the agroindustry in operation slaughters 8,300 pigs per day or 5% of the national production. Amount that supplies part of the mix of 445 products. 

The cooperative  Frimesa's CEO Valter Vanzella, explains this  result of the union of five others: Lar, Copagril, Copacol, C. Vale and Primato. Meeting supporting the expansion project. "We have to grow up all the time, we can't stop in time. But this is based on a quality production, ensuring safety for those who buy", he points out. 

Vanzella explains that planning is directly to gain market abroad, especially in the East. "Exporting has become a good business, especially after african swine fever in China. We go from 5% to 20% of revenues. And there are still many opportunities for sale in the foreign market," he says.



In Cafelândia, in western Paraná, Copacol also processes meat, has 6,000 associates, a group formed basically by small farmers, and directly employs 15,000 people. 

Copacol is a powerhouse, with robust numbers in the production of birds and fish. There are 172.3 million chickens slaughtered per year, about 700,000 a day. And another 42 million fish, which help make Paraná the largest producer of tilapia in the country.

The pigs are delivered to Frimesa, which is responsible for industrializing this segment of the business.  According to Copacol President Valter Pitol, the intention is to double the capacity of some sectors by 2023, such as fish production. Today, he says, products coming out of Western Paraná with the Copacol brand reach much of Brazil and 60 countries. "By increasing the industrial process, we have increased jobs and improved the quality of life of people and cities," he said.



Aso in the West, Coopavel is another strong cooperative. With 50 years of history, it brings together about six thousand cooperatives and produces inums, grains, wheat, pigs and chicken, which represent a turnover of R$ 3.5 billion per year. 

Coopavel is expected to close 2020 with a growth of between 25% and 30%, even in a period marked by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Similar performance is expected for 2021. "Job creation starts with consumer preference. A Coopavel product, for example, is generating jobs in Paraná. And this is an identity that grows in the state in a very strong way," said Dilvo Grolli, ceo of the cooperative. "We pride ourselves on being a 100% cooperative from Paraná," he adds. 

According to him, the cooperative currently slaughters 220,000 chickens, a number that is expected to jump to 250,000 by 2021. There are also 2,000 pigs daily, an amount expected to rise 50% next year, reaching 3,000 animals.



"We are the agro-industrial cooperative that employs the most in the country", says the CEO of Lar Cooperativa Agroindustrial, Irineo da Costa Rodrigues. With 56 years of history and almost 12,000 cooperative members, Lar generates 18,300 direct jobs, working in three main activities: soybean production, corn production and poultry slaughter. 

Considering only meat production, Lar slaughters 700,000 birds per day, with half of this production directed abroad. According to Rodrigues, the Lar brand is present in approximately 300 products, including canned, frozen, chicken and grain cuts. Exports arrive in the Americas, Europe and Asia. 

Here, the cooperative units are installed in 12 municipalities in Western Paraná, Eastern Paraguay (10 units), in Mato Grosso do Sul with 14 units, in Santa Catarina in the municipality of Xanxerê for seed production. All this, together, means an estimated revenue of R$ 10 billion in 2020. "Our goal is to make small properties viable. And that has no limit," Rodrigues said.



In Palotina, it is difficult to arrive and not be impressed by the greatness of  C. Vale. Every day, there, 615,000 chickens and 100,000 tilapia are slaughtered. Between breaded, grilled, seasoned and other genres, 160 tons come from the factory to points of sale in different regions of the country. There is also production of soybeans, corn, wheat, cassava, milk and pigs. All this administered by an army of 12,000 employees and 23,000 associates. 

"Cooperativism was the way we found to make the small producer fixaise in the field. A mutual help in which everyone wins", says the president of the cooperative, Alfredo Lang. 


The manager says that everything there is used. Tilapia remains, for example, are transformed into flour and scales sold to China, used in the East as a raw material for collagen production. The chicken foot, little used in Brazil, is also exported to China. "There is a delicacy, the population disputes the cut. It is even more expensive than the thigh and thigh", highlights the president.


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