ANIB told ConfectioneryNews: “The new association, named Brazil's Association of Biscuit, Pasta, Industrial Bread and Cake Industries (ABIMAPI), is being created with 82 members who jointly hold around 80% of the wheat-based products’ market.”
The combined annual revenue of the 82 ABIMAPI members amounted to almost BRL20bn (USD8.14bn). Collectively they produced around 3m tons of products, which represented one-third of Brazil’s overall wheat flour consumption. Together the members employed more than 100,000 people.
ANIB president Alexandre Colombo said the merge was appropriate because of parallels between the industries and their demands, such as common positions on the need for tax reduction, stronger exports, reverse logistics, sustainability and compliance with legislation in general. “This year alone, we had 13 common issues on our agendas,” said Colombo.
Tax breaks for biscuits topping the agenda
Starting January 2015, Claudio Zanão, the current president of ABIMA, will assume the newly created post of ABIMAPI president. The new association will have special representatives for each product category to ensure representation of the diverse interests within the new organization.
“The merger creates one of the largest food associations in the country. The new entity will play an increasingly important role and … will help to reinforce the importance of the industry,” Zanão said in a statement to ConfectioneryNews. The merger was announced at an event celebrating 30 years since ABIMA’s creation.
One of the main priorities for the new association will be the request for a reduction of ‘tax burdens’, principally through relief from the payment of full PIS (Program for the Social Integration) and COFINS (Contribution for the Financing of Social Security) taxes on sales of biscuits and bread. “This would make the products cheaper and more competitive,” said Zanão in a recent statement published on ABIMA’s website.
One way of securing the tax break would be to include these products in the so-called Cesta Básica – the ‘basic basket’ of essential foodstuffs in Brazil – which since 2013 covers products exempt from PIS/COFINS taxes.
“Today, only pasta and French bread are included in this basket. Yet, we know that many Brazilians consume sandwich biscuits … and white bread on a daily basis,” Zanão said.
ANIB and ABIMA
Created 16 years ago, ANIB now has 50 members who together account for more than 80% of the national biscuit market. Brazil is the second largest global producer of biscuits with an average annual production of 1.25m tons per year, outpaced by the US only. Biscuits are present in 99% of Brazilian households and the industry’s annual revenue tops BRL7bn (USD2.85bn).
ABIMA was formed in 1984, with its 43 members now accounting for the production of over 2m tons of products per year and annual sales of around BRL10bn (USD4.07bn).