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Barretos, March 19, 2009 - Minerva S.A. (BOVESPA: BEEF3; Bloomberg: BEEF3.BZ; Reuters: BEEF3.SA), one of Brazil’s leading producers and sellers of beef, leather and live cattle, announces the inauguration this Friday (March 20) of the first production unit of Minerva Dawn Farms (MDF), a joint venture between Minerva S.A. and Dawn Farms.  The new production unit, located adjacent to Minerva’s headquarters in the city of Barretos in São Paulo, will be one of the largest meat processing plants in Brazil, with estimated annual revenue of US$ 200 million and processing capacity of 10 to 15 tons/hour. A total of R$ 80 million has been invested in the unit.

The plant, which was already operating on a test basis since the end of 2008, has 15,400 m² and a completely flexible structure that can produce beef, pork and poultry products simultaneously and at different scales. It also has the capacity to produce meat with vegetables and sauces.

Initially, around 70% of the plant’s production will be exported to the traditional consumers of Brazilian meat, such as the United States, Middle East and Europe. However, thanks to its high customization capacity, Minerva Dawn Farms will also export to other markets such as the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. Another highlight of the new unit, according to the CEO of Minerva Dawn Farms, Roberto Denuzzo, is its high degree of automation, as well as food control and safety features. The plant is equipped with high technology equipment and computerized control in all stages of production. The machinery and control software come from countries such as Japan, France, Italy, Germany and the United States.

Moreover, the plant has been projected to double its size and production capacity, considering MDF’s growth potential in the food service sector. Annual revenue is expected to jump from U$ 200 million to U$ 400 million in three years with the addition of one production shift.  

The unit is also strategically located close to several protein suppliers in the regions of São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Goiás and adjacent to the plant and headquarters of Frigorífico Minerva. “Thus, we have guaranteed raw material supply throughout the year”, says Denuzzo.

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