Since September 2008, the Brazilian agribusiness sector has lost at least 153,000 jobs, said Gazeta Mercantil.

According to the Ministry of Work and Employment, the last six months ending in February saw the agribusiness sector lose 260,000 jobs – a 64% increase or 100,000 more in relation to the same period of the last cycle.

Estimates from the Brazilian Meat Export Industry Association (Abiec), calculate that losses due to plant closures could reach 50,000. Just one company, Independência, which had the fourth-largest capacity in Brazil, has let 6,000 workers go, more than half its personnel.


The dairy industry let nearly 1,000 workers go during this period. The orange juice industry will follow the trend and let at least 500 people go. Add to these the 1.5 million jobs lost by the agricultural machinery sector.

According to Gazeta Mercantil, Brazilian agribusiness is responsible for 30% of the national employment, 30% of GDP and 30% of exports. These jobs are found throughout the country, and many are seasonal jobs, but the impact of these losses is serious. 

The Brazilian poultry industry has used a different method to make cuts – they’ve closed plants or complexes for 30 days, and then opened them again. They’ve reduced their production as needed, but have still been able to keep their employees.