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Food & Beverage

Beef takes center stage in Brazil

June 20, 2008
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According to Reuters, the cattle are the stars at Brazil''s 14th annual Feicorte International Beef Fair but these celebrities are actually admired for being pieces of meat.

Hundreds of cows, bulls and calves crowded the floor at Sao Paulo''s Centro de Exposicoes Imigrantes, the city''s largest convention center.

Most were indifferent to the thousands of people filing past as they dozed and ruminated, showing interest only when handlers led them through the evaluation and auction stages, a reminder of why they and the fair''s attendees were there.

Andre Mendoca, a buyer attending the auction for the Brahman breed, was one of many potential bidders at the auction eyeing the livestock while sipping cold beer and munching snacks.

With the pulsating music, flashing lights and confetti, the event had the feeling of a party. Indeed, many Brazilians feel there is reason to celebrate.

Brazil has the world''s largest cattle herd and is the largest beef exporter, and looks likely to stay that way.

In March, Brazilian meat company JBS acquired U.S. companies Smithfield Beef Group and National Beef Packing Co for nearly $1.3 billion. The deals pushed its U.S.-based JBS-Swift unit past Tyson Foods Inc to make it the largest U.S. beef producer.
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