BRF is putting a total of about 3,600 more workers on paid leave. The decision will affect employees at two plants in Brazil.

The meat and poultry company will furlough 2,300 employees at its poultry production facility in Rio Verde, in the central part of the country, and 1,300 workers at its plant in Carambei, in the southern part of Brazil, according to a Reuters report.

The layoffs will last 30 days at each BRF plant, starting May 14 in Rio Verde and May 21 in Carambei.

This move follows an earlier decision by the company to put 3,000 employees on paid leave at its poultry processing facility in Capinzal, Santa Catarina. That leave is to begin May 7 and will also last for 30 days. Prior to that, more than 1,000 employees were put on leave at its plant in Mineiros, but about 620 of those workers have since returned.

Placing the workers on leave is a way of adjusting production and capacity following a government-imposed trade ban affecting exports to the European Union (EU), the company said.

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The EU ban followed the Operation Weak Flesh 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.

However, the Brazilian Association of Animal Protein (ABPA) earlier stated that it believes there will be an effective and quick solution for the recovery of exports in relation to the stopping of shipments from BRF to the European Union.

BRF, formerly known as Brasil Foods, is the second largest broiler company in Brazil and the third largest in the world, according to the WATTAgNet Top Poultry Companies Database. 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.