Limeira is a city in the eastern part of the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is 154 km from São Paulo, the state capital, and 1,011 km from Brasilia, Brazil's capital. The city can be easily reached from São Paulo by two highways: Rodovia Anhanguera and Rodovia dos Bandeirantes.
Once an important and strategical pole of the coffee culture, Limeira was also known as the "Brazilian orange capital" due to the great citrus production that occurred in the past, although now the main crop cultivated in the city is the sugar cane. Afterwards, it became recognised by its new plated jewellery industry which attract customers from all over the world, giving the city the title of "Brazil's plated jewellery capital". There are more than 450 companies that are responsible for half of Brazil's exports in this sector.
There is a famous farm located in Limeira, Fazenda Ibicaba, that belonged to Nicolau de Campos Vergueiro, who brought the first immigrants from Europe, especially from Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and Belgium with Italian immigrants brought in to work the fields. Today, Limeira is located in a prosperous region in São Paulo State. A.A. Internacional is a traditional football club based in Limeira, along with Independente F.C. The city's biggest stadium is the Major José Levy Sobrinho stadium, built in 1977.
Industry By the year of 1850, agricultural equipment started to be produced in Limeira and during the Paraguayan War weapons were also produced. Between the years of 1907 and 1922 important industries, such as 'Chapéus Prada' 'Café Kühl' and 'Indústria de Papel Santa Cruz' started their production in Limeira. However, it was after the 1940s that Limeira became well known for its industry.
Between the 1940s and 1970s many citrus companies started producing orange and orange juice in Limeira to export to inside and outside of Brazil, including to USA and Europe, this commerce gave to the city the title of 'The City of Orange'. Citrobrasil and Citrosuco were the biggest companies in Limeira in orange production, however when the United States started its policy to protect and encourage the nacional industry of orange in California, the production of orange in Limeira collapsed. Also after the Second World War the automotive industries took place in the city with 'Freios Varga' (today TRW) and 'Rodas Fumagalli'.
After the 1970s, the industrial section area started to grow faster and some multinational companies came to Limeira, such as: Ajinomoto; the American company Rockwell bought Fumagalli in 1974, and 'Freios Varga' joined the English Group Lucas in 2000. Recently, some Japanese and Korean automotive companies have settled in Limeira, for example: Yacchyio do Brasil, Stanley, Mando, DAS and Faurecia, which is a French company that has been building a new plant in the city. Recently, Samsung invested U$300 million in building an industry in Limeira.
Limeira is also known for its new plated jewellery and semi- jewellery industry which attract customers from all over the world, giving the city the title of "Brazil's plated jewellery capital." There are more than 450 companies that are responsible for half of Brazil's exportation in this sector.
The city has been trying to become more attractive to industries related to incentive programs. This policy tries to reduce the unemployment and the informal jobs, which has been growing together with its population. Part of the population works in cities nearby, including Piracicaba and Americana. According to IBGE (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics), Limeira has a GDP of R$5.6 billion (2010), around U$3.6 billion. The industrial sector accounts for approximately 50% of registered jobs in the city. Thus, Limeira took its industrial vocation with its incentive program, which guided the development and implementation of its current industrial park.
The city has a number of favourable conditions for their development, such as the extension of Highway Bandeirantes (Rodovia dos Bandeirantes), the implementation of the Tietê-Paraná waterway, and the installation of the Brazil-Bolivia gas pipeline.
All these factors, combined with their potential and possibilities, specified multiple paths for the development of the industrial sector of the city:
• Limeira is inserted in the Campinas region, an area marked by a strong industrial concentration and has a GDP that is larger than many states in the country, such as Minas Gerais and Rio Grande do Sul, for example. • In the formal economy has approximately 1,000 industries, employing more than 22,000 registered employees, with a significant share of skilled labour.
The size of the business is diversified, with a production quite varied, including brake systems, automotive wheels, exhausts, metal products, machinery for processing of agricultural products, paper and cardboard packaging, hats, and more. Limeira also has the largest concentration of production of machine tools in Latin America and the largest sugar refining industry in South America. However, the main segment that has been standing out in the city after the 1990s is to jewellery and lapidary stones, consisting mainly of micro and small businesses with family investment.
Currently, the largest industries in operation are: Ajinomoto Interamericana Ind. Com. Ltda. - Food • CPkelco, Huber Co. - Chemical, food, Citrus • ZF/TRW - Brakes - Truck and Car steering systems • Invicta - Machine tools for wood • Mastra Indústria e Comércio - Automotive Exhaust System • Metal Leve S.A. (Corporation) - Pistons for Engines • Arvin Meritor, Divisão LVS (antiga Rockwell Fumagalli) - Wheels • Newton Indústria e Comércio - Presses and Guillotines • Papirus Indústria de Papel S.A. (Corporation) - Paper • Ripasa S.A. Celulose Papel - Cellulose, Paper • Samsung - Electronics • Bebidas Poty - Beverages and Soft Drinks.
The main industries in the business of jewellery in the city are: Galle Indústria e Comércio de bijuterias - semi jewellery • Irmãos Gullo - jewellery and semi jewellery • Jóias Degan - jewellery and semi jewellery.
Commerce and service sector The commercial sector has more than 4,000 stores and 3,000 services business. The implementation of the Shopping Center, in the 1980s, along the Rodovia Anhanguera (Anhanguera Road), came to further boost the development of the tertiary sector in the city. Allied to this and following the world trend of globalization and outsourcing observed the emergence of many companies included in the modernization process, which now act as support for the industries of the city. After the 1990s, the mall closed, but there is still a shopping mall located in downtown (Shopping Patio Limeira). By the end of 2012 Another two malls will probably be operating, one on Piracicaba road and other on Anhanguera Road.
In the area of public services, Limeira presents itself as home to several organizations and government agencies in regional performance as the Caixa Economica Federal, Delegacia da Receita Federal, IBGE, CETESB, Delegacia de Ensino do Estado, Inspetoria Fiscal da Secretaria da Fazenda do Estado, Comando da Polícia Militar and Secretary of Agriculture of the State of São Paulo; there is also private institutions, such as CIESP, SENAI, SESI, SENAC e JUCESP.
The main concern is the competition around the city. There is a big competition from neighbor cities because of diversity, variety and comfort. Sometimes, people prefer to travel to Campinas or Piracicaba for consumption.
Number of companies in Limeira by sector: Agriculture and forestry - 37 companies • Fishery - 1 company • Extractive Industries - 10 companies • Manufacturing Industry - 1266 companies • Production and Distribution of electricity, Gas and Water - 3 companies • Construction - 170 companies • Trade, repair of motor vehicles, personal effects and household - 4,088 companies • Accommodation and Food - 605 companies • Transport, Storage and Communications - 238 companies • Financial Intermediation - 73 companies • Real Estate activities, Rentals and Business Services - 779 companies • Public Administration, Defense and Social Security - 6 companies • Education - 106 companies • Health and Social Services - 114 companies • Other Collective, Social and Personal - 405 companies
Agriculture Currently, Limeira has more than 2,000 farms. Rural production remains strongly marked by the sugar cane (Ethanol production) and orange/citrus, which has remained virtually unchanged over the past two decades, with a slight decline. The sugar cane production reaches more than 1 million tons per year and citrus (orange, lemon and tangerine), more than 1.4 billion units. On a smaller scale for production there are avocados, corn, rice and beans. The city is considered the first producer of São Paulo citrus industry, and it is recognised by its production of seedlings, especially citrus.
During the last three decades Limeira gained a large centre of commerce of plants and seedlings on Geada, located on Limeira-Piracicaba Road, approximately km 120. The biggest companies are Félix Plantas, Bonin Plantas, Dierberger and Chácara Roseira,
Local media There are two daily newspapers in the city: "A Gazeta de Limeira", created in 1831, and "O Jornal de Limeira", created in 1982. But many newspapers are weekly, such as "Folha de Limeira", "Folha Cidade Interior", "Folha Cidade Gospel" and "Cidade Mais". Furthermore, there is a monthly circulation magazine called "Expressão Regional" and a bimonthly circulation magazine, the "Revista Estereosom."
The TV channels that are well known to provide local programming are "TV Jornal", channel 39, and "TV Mix".
Limeira has a population of over 308,482 people.
Limeira is twinned with: Saga, Japan.