GREELEY, COLO. – JBS USA, a majority shareholder in Pilgrim’s Pride Corp., will invest more than $50 million in the communities where employees live and work, the company said. The investment will include donations to alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being, and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts.
The investment is part of the $120 million global social commitment recently announced by parent company JBS S.A. based in São Paulo.
The companies also are investing in ultraviolet (UV) germicidal air sanitation, plasma air technology to neutralize potential viruses in plant ventilation, air purification systems and other technologies to combat the potential spread of coronavirus in the company’s facilities.
JBS USA and Pilgrim’s already have adopted more than $100 million in enhanced safety measures in company facilities, including increased sanitation and disinfection efforts, health screening and temperature checking, employee training, physical distancing, reduced line speeds and increased availability of personal protective equipment such as face masks and face shields. The companies also have added more than 1,000 employees to conduct additional, around-the-clock sanitation and cleaning services, and to provide education, training and enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures.
“Since the arrival of the global coronavirus pandemic to the United States, our priority has been and remains the safety of our team members providing food for all of us,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer at JBS USA. “We recognize our responsibility as a food company during this crisis and we have continuously evolved our operations, based on the latest available guidance from experts, to improve our coronavirus preventive measures. We have already invested more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for our workforce and more than $50 million to reward our team members with thank-you bonuses. Today, we are also excited to reaffirm our long-standing commitment to the rural towns and cities we call home across America.”
JBS USA said the company removed the most vulnerable populations – approximately 10% of the eligible workforce in the United States – from the company facilities, with full pay and benefits.
“I could not be more proud of how our team members have responded to this challenging time,” Nogueira said. “We salute the men and women who are supplying food to those who need it most and the local communities that have always sustained our business. We are not perfect, and this has not been an easy time for any of us, but we are working tirelessly to keep our team members safe and provide food for the country during this pandemic. We are all in this fight together.”