INTERNATIONALIZATION STRATEGIES OF THE BRAZILIAN MEAT AGRIBUSINESS SECTOR: EXPORTS OR DIRECT INVESTMENT ABROAD?
The article analyzes the internationalization strategies of the four largest Brazilian companies in the meat (beef, pork and poultry) agribusiness sector, by considering the comparative and competitive advantages of the country and the companies. JBS, Marfrig, Sadia and Perdigão were studied, of which the last two merged in May 2009, forming Brasil Foods. The authors looked into what led these companies to start investing abroad directly, as from 2005, as a complement to their exports, the preferred strategy for placing products in foreign markets. The research method used was the multiple case study, drawing on primary data (interviews, corporate annual reports, financial statements, press releases and shareholder information) and secondary data (theses, dissertations, academic articles, reports in newspapers and business journals), using bibliographic and documentary research. Everything was analyzed in the light of international business and strategy theories. The results show that exports still predominate and that investing directly abroad was, in principle, a reactive strategy to sanitary barriers against Brazilian products. However, the acquisition of companies in restriction-free countries has increased as part of a forward-looking strategy for gaining access to new markets and strengthening brands.
Key-words: Agribusiness. Internationalization. Strategy.
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