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Brazil Takes $300 Million Hit Post-Rotten Meat Scandal

While the meat industry in Brazil is in sharp decline, new plant-based companies grow at a rate of 40 percent annually.

During a press conference this week, Brazilian Animal Protein Association executive president Francisco Turra said that the country sustained major financial losses after an international meat scandal broke earlier this year that involved the world’s largest meat company, JBS. The March scandal—which revealed that the sale of rotten meat resulted in import bans implemented by 46 countries—cost Brazil between $250 million and $300 million in export revenue, Turra said, while local meat production has decreased by 140,000 tons, with exports of meat down 20 percent. JBS was fined millions of dollars for its involvement in the scandal and reported a drop in net profits of 79.8 percent since March—with daily meat exports dropping from $63 million to just $74,000. JBS attempted to sell some of its assets to competitor company Minerva SA, which is currently also under investigation by local police for similar allegations. The downfall of the Brazilian meat industry comes at a time when veganism is growing in the meat-centric country, with new plant-based companies increasing at a rate of 40 percent annually.

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