Brazil-based meat and poultry company BRF will place about 3,000 workers on a 30-day paid leave at its poultry processing facility in Capinzal, Santa Catarina.

The decision was made “due to the need to adjust production planning,” the company informed Reuters.

The layoffs will be effective May 7 and are the latest development in the ongoing turmoil surrounding the company in connection with Operation Weak Flesh, an investigation in which several Brazilian meat and poultry companies, including BRF, were accused of falsifying documents, larceny, acting against public health, and hampering government inspections.

Also connected with Operation Weak Flesh was the arrest of Pedro de Andrade Faria, ex-global president of BRF, Helio Santos Junior, former vice-president of global operations, and eight others connected to the company. Those arrests were made in early March.

Also earlier in March, more than 1,000 BRF workers were placed on leave at its plant in Mineiros, Reuters reported.  

The Brazilian Agriculture Ministry also temporarily interrupted production and certification of BRF’s poultry exports to the European Union.

The company has stated that it follows Brazilian and international standards concerning the production and marketing of its products, and that it holds important international quality certifications. BRF also stressed that it has been wholly available to work with authorities for any clarification while maintaining full transparency with its customers, consumers, shareholders and the wider market. 

BRF, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database, is the second largest broiler company in Brazil and the third largest in the world. It slaughters 1.724 billion birds annually. Its key chicken brands are Sadia and Perdigao.

In addition to being a leading broiler company, BRF is also a major turkey, pork and animal feed producer.