In partnership with the largest pork processor in Brazil


On October 15, 2019, to celebrate 50 years since it was founded, Aurora Alimentos opened the largest pork processing plant in Chapecó (SC), Brazil. The opening was the culmination of several years of strategic planning and working towards an increased pig slaughter capacity. The goal of Aurora Alimentos is to achieve a slaughtering capacity of 25,000 pigs per day in 2025. With the new processing plant, Frigorífico Aurora Chapecó (FACH 1), that goal will most likely be reached four years ahead of schedule.

Christian Klauck, Engineering Manager at Aurora Alimentos, said that to achieve the projected growth goal, the cooperative relied on the invaluable partnership of Marel and Sulmaq in their project to optimize and modernize the slaughter, cutting and deboning lines at Frigorífico Aurora Chapecó (FACH 1). “Few companies offer this type of slaughter technology, which guarantees the slaughter of 540 pigs per hour," Klauck emphasizes.

Sustainable expansion

In the company's strategic planning for increasing their pig slaughter, the cooperative started by examining the conditions of its existing plants in search of methods to increase production. Antônio Wanzuit Júnior, Manager of Frigorífico Aurora Chapecó (FACH 1), said that they quickly realized that FACH 1 would be the most suitable for development. The possibilities for sustainable expansion and overhauling the wastewater treatment area was excellent.

However, the fact that the expansion could be carried out without compromising the production flow was ultimately the deciding factor. “With the new plant, we can meet higher demand from both the foreign and domestic markets,” emphasizes Antônio Wanzuit Júnior. The Chapecó plant directs 55% of its output of raw pork cuts to foreign markets.ees in the second half of 2020.

Production inside the largest pork processing plant in Chapecó (SC), Brazil.

Technologies used

One of the highlights of the Frigorífico Aurora Chapecó (FACH 1) project was the CO2 group stunning system, which significantly reduces stress amongst the pigs. Furthermore, the addition of the CO2 stunning system has improved the quality of the meat significantly.

Another system adopted in the slaughtering process was a dehairing machine that uses biogas, a critical factor in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The automated carcass chilling chambers, using Marel/Sulmaq technology, allows carcasses to be classified and sent for deboning, according to the processing specifications. In addition, the automation makes the presence of operators in a low-temperature environment unnecessary.

Ahead of time

The project to expand the Chapecó plant began three years before its inauguration in 2019 with the works commencing 16 months before.

By the end of 2019, the plant was slaughtering approximately 7,500 pigs per day. The plant is on schedule to reach its full capacity of 10,527 pigs per day in the first half of 2020. At this stage, the Aurora Alimentos conglomerate will be slaughtering 25,000 pigs per day.

Among all of Aurora’s pork plants, FACH 1 is its most certified facility. It is the only Brazilian meat processing plant that exports fresh pork to the United States. By meeting the strictest requirements, the plant can export its products to nearly 20 countries, including China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Chile.

About Aurora Alimentos

Aurora Alimentos is a central cooperative with 11 other affiliated cooperatives and is responsible for producing raw material (according to strict quality standards) and for direct contact with farmers. With the plant expansion, Aurora Alimentos now employs a total of 30,000 people, of which 4,000 are at FACH 1. Once at full capacity, the facility will reach 5,500 employees in the second half of 2020.

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