SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The European Union is likely to expand a ban on poultry imports processed by Brazil’s BRF SA (BRFS3.SA), the world’s largest chicken exporter, according to a local newspaper report on Saturday.
The EU currently does not allow the entrance in the bloc of chicken processed in three of BRF plants in Brazil, that were targets of an investigation by Brazilian authorities related to alleged actions by BRF management to escape food safety checks.
According to the report in newspaper Folha de S.Paulo, European officials could expand that ban to all BRF plants in Brazil, following a meeting with Brazilian officials this week. A decision is expected next week.
Brazilian Senator Cidinho Santos, a member of the group that visited EU officials in Brussels, told the paper that the Europeans were threatening to ban exports from all BRF plants, even after explanations and guarantees given to them by Brazil’s Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi.
“We left the meeting pessimistic,” the senator said, according to the report.
BRF did not immediately return requests for comment. Calls to their office in Sao Paulo on Saturday were not answered.
The food safety scandal and operational difficulties have hurt BRF performance recently. The company lost 1 billion reais ($292.19 million) last year and shareholders are demanding a management reshuffle.
On Friday, the company said in a securities filing that shareholders would be entitled to multiple votes to chose the new members of the board in an assembly on April 26, after they failed to agree to a common proposed list.
Luiz Fernando Furlan, a former trade minister, is expected to replace Abilio Diniz, a prominent Brazilian investor, as chairman of BRF.
($1 = 3.4224 reais)
Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; editing by Diane Craft