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An Interview Exclusive from The<b>PigSite</b>.com - The President of the National Pork Producers Council speaks exclusively to

Interview Exclusives from's intrepid reporter interviews influential figures in the World of Agriculture and brings to you their opinions on a number of key industry questions:

Sr Nildemar Secches Chief Executive Officer, Perdigão speaks exclusively to our intrepid reporter


Sr Nildemar Secches
C.E.O. Perdigão, Brazil

Sr Secches has been Chief Executive Officer of Perdigão since 1995, having been appointed from Grupo lochpe-Maxion where he was Managing Director.

Prior to that he was a Director for Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social.

Sr Secches has a graduate degree in Finance and a Doctorate degree in Economics.

Perdigão, based in Brazil, is one of the largest food companies in Latin America and one of the principal meat processors in the world. Its core business is poultry and pig growing and processing along with the production of frozen and chilled ready to eat products.

In 2002 the Company produced 410,000 tons of pork and 526,000 tons of poultry and it has some 27,000 employees.

The Company trades under the Perdix name overseas, operating two offices in Europe, one in the Middle East and a distribution center in the Netherlands. Perdigão exports to more than 70 countries.

Since 1994 a group of eight pension funds has had a controlling stake in the Company and its shares are traded on the São Paulo and New York Stock Exchanges.

In the light of current W.T.O. talks and the general moving away from subsidised production around the world how do you see this influencing your future meat export strategy ?

Brazilian poultry and pork production is extremely competitive even in relation to highly subsidised production normally practised by U.S.A. and EU. so the general moving away from subsidised production around the world will be beneficial to our products that will be even more competitive globally.

What capacity does Perdigão have to expand home grown feed raw materials ?

As I outlined in the first question Brazilian competitiveness is highly favourable not only for pork and poultry production but also for grain. We have abundant supplies of home-grown raw materials principally soyabeans, corn and sorghum.

Does Perdigão envisage future development of pork or/and poultry production operations elsewhere in the world?

Our favourable conditions of Brazilian competitiveness as indicated in previous answers allow all the opportunities to expand production internally here in Brazil. We must also remember that Perdigão has just ended the construction of an AgroIndustrial complex in Goias State in the center/west of Brazil which constitutes a new frontier for our production activities so we have much space to explore before envisaging to establish our operations abroad.

Your excellent web site gives a very interesting insight, but what would you consider to be the ingredients that have made Perdigão the world-class business it is today ?

Firstly, the competence of our team is the best ingredient that differentiates Perdigão from other companies operating in the poultry and pork business. This differential enables the Company to be state-of-the-art in terms of technology, research and new product development and therefore always in the very best position to launch new products and to supply our customers' need for high quality products.

The EU market, for example, is starting to de-commoditise with the growth in free-range, functional foods and organic pork/poultry products . Do you see this trend being sustained and replicated eleswhere ?

This is a trend that is here to stay, but it will always be a niche market due to the high production costs of those kind of products. Perdigão has recently launched a complete new line of functional foods, we produce vegetarian chicken and our production technology is able to supply whatever the market demands in terms of de-commoditised products.

What are the future challenges facing Perdigão in continuing to deliver shareholder value ?

Since 1994, Perdigão has always paid dividends above the minimal legal rate and our shares have performed very well. Our policy in relation to our shareholder is to continue delivering value through the expansion of our activities and the continued growth of our profit rates.

....and finally! Have Perdigão pork and poultry products played any role in the world-beating success of the Brazil soccer team over the years ?

We have a popular expression here in Brazil that says that the goalkeeper has "swallowed a chicken" when he concedes a goal. As our production has continuously expanded at high rates during the last 40 years, we can associate this to the idea that our soccer players are very satisfied with our products and don't "swallow chicken in the football ground" !

Source: ThePigSite's intrepid interviewer - December 2003

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