Marfrig Global Foods announced this week it has joined with Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) to produce vegetable protein products in Brazil.
The two companies will work together to plant-based products, with ADM responsible for supplying the primary raw material used in the process, while Marfrig will produce, distribute and sell the products in the food service and retail channels.
“Together, Marfrig and ADM will produce 100% vegetable protein-based burgers with the same taste and texture of beef. We want to give consumers the power of choice,” said Eduardo Miron, CEO of Marfrig Global Foods. “The plant-based burgers will complement Marfrig’s product portfolio and be distributed through all our market channels.”
In a statement, Marfrig said the product will be produced in its Várzea Grande unit, with sales expected to begin this year under a new brand. The first plant-based products under the partnership will reach the Brazilian market later this year, with exports following later.
“We offer an advanced R&D structure, natural ingredients and technological solutions, including the advantage of local manufacturing, to anticipate industry trends and meet our clients’ needs with customized service,” said Roberto Ciciliano, CEO of ADM Nutrition in Latin America. “We are the ideal partner to support and foster the sustainable development of the food, specialties and healthy nutrition industry.”
In April 2018, Marfrig announced an agreement to purchase 51% of National Beef Packing Co. for $969 million, making it the second-largest beef processor, with consolidated sales of $13 billion. The acquisition would boost Marfrig’s total slaughter capacity to 8.3 million per year with the combined operations.
In May of this year, JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, announced it would launch a plant-based burger in Brazil under the brand Seara. Two other large U.S. meat packers, Tyson Foods and Cargill, have previously announced their intentions to venture into the alternative protein category.