JBS is a powerhouse in meat. The Brazilian multinational is the largest global producer of beef, chicken and lamb, and no. 3 in pork. Altogether, it's one of the biggest food companies in the world. Judging by annual sales figures, it's second only to Nestle.As if they were a little insecure about not being #1 in pork, they are trying to make another deal there:
Despite numbering among the world's food giants, JBS has stayed largely out of the spotlight, while staying on your dinner table. But even JBS is now joining the chorus of large food makers caving to consumer demand for more information about how food goes from field to plate.
"I think in today's society, the consumer wants to know more and more where their food comes from. And food companies are slowly adopting toward that," says Cameron Bruett, JBS USA spokesman. "But I think we need to do a better job."
JBS owns numerous plants cross the Midwest, South and West of the U.S., as well as worldwide. The JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colo., is an imposing building. Conveyor belts snake through the concrete structure. But it's not an assembly line. Workers in blood-spattered smocks disassemble cattle, breaking down whole animals into cuts of meat.
JBS USA Pork has entered into an agreement with Cargill to acquire the company’s U.S.-based pork business for $1.45 billion (USD). Completion of the acquisition is subject to regulatory review and approval.Considering that regulators allowed the Chinese to buy Smithfield, I'm not sure whether they will put the brakes on this deal. Either way, JBS is a global force in the industry.
“Today’s announcement of our agreement to purchase the Cargill pork operations is a strategic investment in the long-term growth of our domestic and global pork business and demonstrates our continued commitment to the U.S. livestock sector,” said Martin Dooley, president and COO of JBS USA Pork. “This transaction will strengthen our position as a producer and supplier of all major animal proteins around the world, and provide increased opportunities for our producer partners and key customers. The strength and success of Cargill’s pork team and hog suppliers, as well as its industry leadership in areas such as animal welfare, exports, bacon production and innovation, were significant and compelling factors that led us to pursue this acquisition and enhance our ability to serve our diverse, global customer base.”
Included in JBS’ acquisition of Cargill’s pork business are two Midwest meat processing plants, one in Ottumwa, Iowa, and the other at Beardstown, Ill. Both plants were acquired by Cargill in 1987, and in 2014 they processed a total of 9.3 million hogs. The purchase by JBS also includes five feed mills (two in Missouri, and one each in Arkansas, Iowa and Texas), and four hog farms (two in Arkansas and one each in Oklahoma and Texas).
“The strengths of the JBS and Cargill pork businesses are complementary. Together, they promise to offer enhanced service to customers and more opportunities for employees and hog producers while providing an important source of protein to consumers around the world,” said Todd Hall, Cargill senior vice president. “The professional and focused manner in which JBS approached Cargill demonstrated to us that they place a great deal of value on growing this part of their company to better compete in the marketplace and are willing to invest in its future. JBS is acquiring a business with excellent people and fixed assets, and an established track record of success.”
JBS first entered the U.S. pork market with the acquisition of Swift & Company in 2007 and has steadily improved performance ever since. The company has more than 6,000 team members and the total daily capacity to process more than 50,000 hogs at processing facilities in Marshalltown, Iowa; Worthington, Minn.; and Louisville, Ky. JBS USA Pork offers a wide selection of well-known brands including Swift® and Swift Premium®. The announced transaction will enhance JBS USA Pork’s ability to meet increasing global demand for high-quality, innovative fresh and frozen pork products.