Sadia, one of the greatest foodstuff exporters in Brazil and national reference in the production of chicken meat and poultry products, plans on increasing their exports to the Arab market in 5% to 10% this year.
The percentage refers to the increase in volumes to be shipped, according to information from the director of Foreign Markets at Sadia, José Augusto Lima de Sá. The company’s revenue with the market should remain stable.
The projected percentage increase for volumes is expressive, according to Sá, if considered there was a retraction in world consumption due to the discoveries in avian influenza in some countries.
Since there were some cases in the Arab world, the local drop in poultry consumption was great, according to Sá. In Egypt, there were human deaths registered by the avian flu in the first semester of the year.
According to Sá, the company felt the reflexes of this in first semester of the year, but the market is already recovering. The Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef) promoted this year actions in the Arab world to show the sanitation of the meat produced in the country.
The Arabs are great consumers of poultry in Brazil. Last year, of the US$ 1.7 billion Sadia obtained in revenues with the foreign market, for example, between 20% and 25% of the value came from the Arab countries.
Sadia started exporting poultry to the Arab countries in the 1970s. The company was a pioneer in the sales of the Brazilian product to the Middle East, according to a lecture given by Sá yesterday at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), in São Paulo.
The company started exporting to the Arabs whole chickens and introduced the consumption of chicken in pieces in the region in the 1980s. The process for introducing the new product was started, according to Sá, by hiring a Lebanese agency, based in France, to develop the brand in the country.
The main star on Sadia’s advertising in the region, at the time, was a cartoon chicken whose name was Henrietta. The character, according to Sá, became famous in the region. In one of the television commercials she appeared questioning her friends, also chickens, what they thought of a chicken of ten legs, ten breasts, ten wings.
The chicken friends are startled. Soon after, Henrietta tells them this chicken exists, in the Sadia tray. This was the propaganda for selling poultry cuts, in trays, that Sadia was starting in the region.
According to Sá, one of the strategies to maintain their position as a supplier in the region was continuity. The executive recalls that the company didn’t stop selling poultry to the country in spite of the many political crises the region’s been through.
"Poultry never went missing from the shelves," says the director.
The halal slaughtering, which follows the Islamic norms, was another measure adopted by the company to win the market. Passing the information on the product through cartoons, to countries where there is a greater illiteracy rate, was another strategy adopted.
"Always stay close to your consumer. This is how Brazil became the greatest poultry exporter in the world: it treated each market according to the consumers’ expectations," stated Sá.
Sadia exports about 250 products to 92 countries, according to information on the company’s website. It has commercial representation in Uruguay, England, Argentina, Chile, Germany, Emirates, Japan and Venezuela.
Sadia was founded in 1944 and has their headquarters in the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. As well as poultry, the company produces food products from beef, pork and turkey, and also makes pasta and margarines.
In Brazil, the brand Sadia is in 300,000 points of sales. Sadia has 11 industrial units, two agricultural and livestock units and distribution centers in 14 states of the country.