SAO PAULO, Brazil – JBS SA, the world’s largest meat packer, has suspended production at 10 plants in Brazil. The action comes as the company works to rebound from the fallout of an anticorruption investigation launched by the Federal Police in Brazil.
“JBS has voluntarily suspended production at 10 of our 36 beef facilities in Brazil,” JBS spokesman Cameron Bruett said in a statement to MEAT+POULTRY. “This temporary step is being taken to ensure appropriate levels of supply in the marketplace as trading relationships return to normal. We are committed to maintaining the employment of our team members throughout Brazil.”
JBS, BRF SA and dozens of other meat packers are under investigation by federal authorities who allege the meat packers paid bribes to meat inspectors in exchange for loosening food safety regulations. The companies have denied any wrongdoing.
JBS also faces allegations by IBAMA, the Brazilian environmental protection agency, that the company purchased cattle raised in Para, which occupies a large swath of the Amazon Rainforest. The allegations stem from Operation “Carne Fria”, a three-year probe of more than a dozen meat packers and at least 20 farms. IBAMA had issued an embargo against processing facilities operated by companies named in the investigation. However, JBS appealed the embargo, and the Brazilian federal justice issued a preliminary injunction allowing JBS processing plants to continue slaughter and processing operations.