Minerva starts monitoring 100% of cattle suppliers in Paraguay

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Minerva Foods, the largest beef exporter in South America, announced it became the first company in the segment to monitor 100% of its cattle suppliers in Paraguay.

In the Paraguayan Chaco, Minerva claims to have more than 3,000 supplier farms. In the region, it already has 11.8 million hectares mapped through the SMGeo system, developed by NicePlanet Geotechnology based on satellite images.

In Brazil, the company has been monitoring its direct suppliers since 2020 and is now concentrating efforts and technologies to broaden its focus on indirect suppliers. Controlling the practices of indirect suppliers has proved to be the biggest challenge for meatpackers in the country, but Minerva Foods has also obtained positive results on this front.

As already reported by Valor, in an audit carried out from January 2018 to June 2019, the Federal Prosecution Service of Pará attested that no cattle purchased by the company in the state in the period came from areas with illegal deforestation after 2008 or overlapping indigenous lands and units of conservation, of properties embargoed by Ibama or without Rural Environmental Registry (CAR) and of farms with labor analogous to slavery.

Adding up the Brazilian and Paraguayan biomes, the area monitored by the company totals 26 million hectares. And the goal for the coming years is to reach 100% coverage in the other South American countries where it operates. In Colombia, where it has more than 3 thousand direct suppliers, the goal is 2023; in Uruguay (1.8 thousand suppliers), 2025; and in Argentina (1.5 thousand suppliers), 2030.

In the region’s neighbors, Minerva’s businesses are gathered in the subsidiary Athena Foods, which in the third quarter of last year earned R$4.4 billion, an amount that represented 56% of the Brazilian company’s total gross revenue.

Added to all operations, exports usually represent around 70% of Minerva’s business, which accounts for around 20% of South American beef shipments.

In general, Minerva’s efforts are in line with its goals of eliminating illegal deforestation in its supply chain by 2030 and of achieving zero net carbon emissions by 2035. In this work, planned investments are on the order of R$1,5 billion.

Source: Valor International

Minerva raises R$1.6bn to pay short-term debt

Minerva Foods raised R$1.6 billion through the issuance of Certificates of Agribusiness Receivables (CRAs), in two series. Of the total, R$1.2 billion mature in seven years and the remainder in ten, according to a source. The company will use the funds to pay debts abroad with shorter maturity. BTG coordinated the operation, with participation of Itaú, Bradesco and XP. In December, Minerva’s leverage ratio was 2.4 times. Gross debt totaled R$11.5 billion with 45% due in 2026, and much of which was now extended. 

Source: Valor international

Minerva’s JV in China to import $600m in five years

Minerva Foods, South America’s largest beef exporter, has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding with Chinese conglomerate Greenland to create a joint venture to import and distribute meat in the Asian country. There are still some bureaucratic requirements for the agreement to come into effect, but the partnership has the potential to be more successful than Minerva’s joint venture in China with Joey Foods, a project that had the same purpose but did not take off. According to a source familiar with the talks, Greenland will offer an existing structure, something Joey didn’t. “This could bring forward Minerva’s business plan by two years,” the source says. China is the main export market for both Brazil and Minerva. Controlled by the Shanghai government, Greenland estimates that in the next two years imports through the partnership will exceed 4 billion yuan (about $600 million). In five years, the figure could reach 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion). The Chinese group’s goal is to make the business the main distribution center for imported meat in the country. Minerva declined to comment.

Source: Valor International

Minerva injects $4m in Silicon Valley startup

Four months after announcing the creation of a fund to invest in startups, Minerva Foods closed the first deal. With an injection of $4 million, the Brazilian group became a minority shareholder of Clara Foods, a Silicon Valley foodtech that develops alternative proteins — free of animals — for use in the food industry. Founded by Mexican Arturo Elizondo, Clara Foods was born within IndieBio, the world’s largest biotechnology incubator. The startup has already raised more than $50 million through two rounds of investment. Minerva does not reveal the stake it bought. In an interview with Valor, Minerva CFO Edison Ticle says this will not be the company’s only investment. The venture capital fund has $30 million to inject in startups. He says the plan is to invest between $1 million and $15 million in up to 10 companies.

Source: Valor International