Volume 5 | Issue 1 | Year 2009

It is hard to believe that Tatuibi began as one man selling sausages from a basket in street markets in Limeira de São Paulo in the early 1960s. The company’s founder, Antônio Bindilatte, soon progressed to his own cart, then market stall and finally company: Tatuibi (named after a neighborhood in São Paulo).
By the end of the 1970s, Tatuibi had rented an abattoir in Santa Fé do Sul, also in São Paulo, and broadened its activities, not only selling meat products, but also preparing them. The success of the company led to the purchase of the abattoir and also of neighboring farm premises, where a processing center was built.

According to Export Manager, Fabiano Furlan, the company expanded its product range in 1994, when it began producing filleted meat cuts for the Brazilian market. “It was at this time that we ceased being a simple meat processing plant, and became a food company,” he says.

In 2000, Tatuibi began to export frozen meat. The international sales greatly increased productivity, as well as updated and modified operations and processes at the company’s facilities. Today, the three refrigerated processing plants employ more than 1,200 people. The largest in São Paulo is authorized to prepare meat for export and covers an area of 110,000 square meters. Two additional units are located in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.

The company’s production technology is of the highest possible standards. “The machinery used in meat processing is not highly complex, but we have the latest and most efficient equipment available on the market,” explains Furlan. The company has recently completed an extension of the frozen deposit at the São Paulo facility, considerably increasing production capacity for the domestic and international market

Investment in technology is a priority for the company. Specialized equipment for microbiological testing of meat products and for the washing of carcasses before processing are essential in maintaining the high levels of hygiene and safety at Tatuibi. All of the plants adhere to the HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points), meaning that products are checked at specific points during production to ensure quality. In addition to these industry standards, Tatuibi has internal hygiene and quality control procedures, including regular staff medical check-ups.

“The levels of cleanliness and technology at our São Paulo facility render it fully authorized to export to Europe, and we are currently submitting documents for the certification of a second unit,” explains Furlan. At present, Tatuibi exports to more than 20 different countries, including Hong Kong, Egypt, Russia and Palestine. International sales account for 15 percent of the company’s business, although with the start of exports to Europe this year, Furlan predicts that this figure will increase dramatically.

Tatuibi produces a range of meat products, from beef jerky, mincemeat and offal to both fresh and frozen beef joints and filleted cuts. Frozen products make up 90 percent of exports, and 10 percent of domestic sales. “Sales depend on market trends and the time of the year; at the moment sirloin steak is selling very well, but it is not always the best-seller. We do not depend on one product alone,” says Furlan.

In addition to meat products, Tatuibi also uses the by-products of meat processing to manufacture other goods such as leather, animal feed and soap. The company produces wet blue leather, which has undergone the first stage in the treatment process and can be used for footwear; clothing and padding. Bone flour, made from bovine residues, is used for its high nutritional value for sale as bone meal to animal feed manufacturers.

Another division produces hygiene products from tallow (also a by-product), such as soap powder, softener and washing up liquid. Tatuibi markets two successful brands of soap for cleaning purposes: Arpe and Ibí. The products, which are packaged both on site and by partners, are formulated for efficiency and are biodegradable to help preserve the environment.

New products are planned for the future, especially in the meat line. Plans to produce seasoned beef pieces and eventually tinned and pre-prepared meat are being studied. “Meat is meat. In order to innovate, and remain competitive, we must be creative with our products; seasoned beef is an example,” explains Furlan.

As well as recent investments in infrastructure, Tatuibi also prioritizes research and development in each of its divisions. In the case of hygiene and cleaning products, studies of the market are more directed towards marketing incentives. In this sector, consumers are more conscious of brand, which means elements such as packaging play an important role. In the case of meat products, Furlan explains that “consumers are only just beginning to select meat according to brand.” This change in buyer behavior is interesting for Tatuibi, whose demanding quality standards and added value set it apart from competitors.

Research in the meat sector does not only consider market trends and the finished product, but the origin of the meat itself. Tatuibi has highly valued partnerships with its suppliers. The cattle is purchased from carefully chosen farms, many of whom are exclusive partners. The close partnerships involve training farmers, to ensure that the animals satisfy all the demands of the company. “Our suppliers are also certified by international trading standards, as required by law,” says the company’s export manager. Although, at present, only one of the three production facilities is producing meat for export, all follow the same guidelines, and the same quality products are supplied to both the internal and external markets.

Transport conditions for the products are more than satisfied by the company’s fleet of distribution vehicles. The trucks and vans cover all of Tatuibi’s needs, from collecting livestock from the farms, to delivering cleaning products and meat. In the case of fresh and frozen meat, the trailers maintain temperatures of -18°C to guarantee quality. Distribution is organized from specialized centers, one of which is located at the main facility itself in Santa Fé, where the products are checked again before delivery. Meat destined for overseas markets is exported by ship from the port of Santos (São Paulo).

Tatuibi’s growth year after year, has been the result of controlled investment in premises, technology and staff. “We have reinvested profits, and made purchases without loans, backing partners or debts, and grown steadily,” explains Furlan. With annual sales reaching $240 million, the company has a strong presence in Brazil and is the market leader in some states.

Another reason for successful expansion is the reliability of the company. The quality of its products, and the efficiency and punctuality of its deliveries are factors that guarantee security in the industry. In spite of uncertainties in the market, Tatuibi remains solid. “Although many international clients have been affected by the economic crisis, the Brazilian meat market has actually experienced the inverse, with prices rising and business increasing,” says Furlan.

Family-run Tatuibi enjoys a stable position in the industry, committed to quality and careful growth. The production of beef and industrialization of its by-products, places the company among the most innovative and socially aware in the country. With new products planned and continued investment, the future looks promising for this industry all-rounder.

Previous articleSlice of the Good Life
Next articleTropics in a Bottle