In this file:
· Brazil's JBS and BRF Launch PR Campaign After Rotten Meat Raids
… JBS SA and BRF SA took out full-page advertisements in Brazilian newspapers on Saturday in efforts to burnish their image a day after police conducted a series of raids investigating bribes at meatpacking facilities…
· Brazil raids food giants for allegedly selling rotten meat
… The country's federal police said the raids unearthed more than 30 instances of meatpackers paying bribes…
· Brazil police raid BRF and JBS meat plants in bribery probe
… evidence of meatpackers bribing inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and shipping exports with traces of salmonella, police said…
· Something’s Rotten? Brazil Meat Processors Sink After Raids
Shares of Brazil meat processing companies are down big today after federal police raided offices as part of a corruption investigation…
· Brazil's BRF, JBS shares slump after China suspends meat imports
… Bloomberg News had reported that Brazilian beef products currently on the way to China would not get clearance at customs…
· HOW BRAZIL’S MEAT SCANDAL COULD IMPACT EXPORTS
The meat industry is one of the cornerstones of the Brazilian economy
· EU to block any firms involved in Brazil meat scandal
... "The Commission will ensure that any of the establishments implicated in the fraud are suspended from exporting to the EU," a spokesman for the European Commission told a press briefing...
Brazil's JBS and BRF Launch PR Campaign After Rotten Meat Raids
Reporting by Paulo Prada; Editing by Marguerita Choy, Reuters
via U.S. News & World Report - March 18, 2017
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Meat companies JBS SA and BRF SA took out full-page advertisements in Brazilian newspapers on Saturday in efforts to burnish their image a day after police conducted a series of raids investigating bribes at meatpacking facilities.
Police said the raids, which threaten an industry with $12 billion in annual exports, were prompted by evidence that some meatpackers had paid inspectors and politicians to overlook the processing of rotten meat and exports with fraudulent documentation and even traces of salmonella.
Facing a crisis that even Brazil's government said threatens its reputation as one of the world's biggest exporters of meat products, JBS and BRF launched a public relations offensive to defend the integrity of their practices.
"Quality is the foremost priority of JBS and its brands," read an advertisement by JBS, the world's largest meat producer, in publications that included the major dailies of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, plus the weekly newsmagazine Veja.
In ten bullet points underneath, the company touted its role as an exporter to more than 150 countries and the certificates earned and audits passed at facilities throughout Brazil.
In an email, a JBS spokeswoman said the advertisements, which also include radio and television spots, would run across 27 different media outlets through Monday. The company did not respond to a Reuters request about the cost of the campaign.
BRF, for its part, ran ads addressing "the millions of consumers whose confidence we have earned," vowing to adhere to the principles of "truth, respect, quality and transparency."
Officials at BRF did not immediately respond to requests about the details of its campaign...
Brazil raids food giants for allegedly selling rotten meat
by Shasta Darlington, CNN Money
March 17, 2017
Brazil launched a massive raid on meat producers this week, alleging that they bribed inspectors to certify meat that was either rotten or tainted with salmonella.
Two of the largest meat producers JBS and BRF, both of which sell meat around the world, were among the companies caught up in the raid. The country's federal police said the raids unearthed more than 30 instances of meatpackers paying bribes.
Some of the meat ended up in lunches at public schools, police said at a press conference in Curitiba, Brazil. They said there was also evidence that some of the meat was destined for markets in Italy and Spain.
Police said 1,100 agents were involved in the "Operation Weak Flesh" raids. They served 309 court orders, 194 search warrants, 27 detentions and 77 police interrogations.
Police said among those arrested were two JBS employees and three BRF employees.
The news was met with anger and frustration in Brazil, which is already reeling from corruption scandals affecting the highest echelons of government. The hashtag #CarneFraca, or "Weak Flesh" was trending, with Brazilians lashing out at the companies and politicians implicated in the probe.
JBS shares tumbled 10% on Friday, while BRF fell 7%.
JBS, the biggest meat processer in the world, said in a filing that none of its executives were singled out...
Brazil police raid BRF and JBS meat plants in bribery probe
By Brad Haynes and Sergio Spagnuolo, Reuters
Mar 17, 2017
SAO PAULO/CURITIBA, Brazil | Brazilian police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS SA and BRF SA on Friday, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, in a crackdown on alleged bribery of health officials that could threaten $12 billion in annual exports.
The probe, known as "Operation Weak Flesh," found evidence of meatpackers bribing inspectors and politicians to overlook unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and shipping exports with traces of salmonella, police said.
Police investigator Mauricio Moscardi Grillo said there was evidence of some companies manipulating certificates for meat exports to European markets, raising the risk of foreign restrictions on Brazil's powerhouse protein industry.
"We've never seen a scandal like this in the sector ... It's horrifying," said Alex Silva, a livestock analyst with Scot Consultoria. "This stains the entire system that Brazil has spent years building."
Brazil exported $6.9 billion of poultry and $5.5 billion of beef last year, according to industry groups, as producers ramped up shipments to China and started sending fresh beef to the United States.
Shares of JBS and BRF plunged 11.0 percent and 7.0 percent, respectively, in Sao Paulo. JBS, the world's biggest meat producer, booked net revenue of 170 billion reais ($55 billion) last year from sales in 150 countries. BRF, the largest poultry exporter, booked net revenue of 39 billion reais in 2016.
Police said they arrested three BRF employees and two from JBS in Friday's raids, as well as 20 public officials.
JBS said in a securities filing that three of its plants and one of its employees were targeted in the probe, but its senior executives and headquarters were not targeted. The company said it followed rigorous quality standards and sanitary regulations.
BRF also said it followed industry regulations and was cooperating with authorities in the investigation.
Court documents cited recordings of BRF director Andre Luiz Baldissera allegedly discussing on March 13 how health officials could help defend the company after inspectors in Italy found traces of salmonella in four containers shipped from a plant in Goiás state in central Brazil.
The ruling by federal judge Marcos Silva also included transcripts of BRF government relations executive Roney Nogueira allegedly discussing bribery of health inspectors, including one called on to help avoid the closure of the same Goiás plant.
The judge also ordered that BRF Vice President José Roberto Pernomian Rodrigues be brought in for questioning.
Baldissera, Nogueira and Rodrigues could not be reached for comment.
Brazil's Agriculture Ministry temporarily closed three plants cited in the investigation...
Something’s Rotten? Brazil Meat Processors Sink After Raids
By Dimitra DeFotis, Barron's
March 17, 2017
Shares of Brazil meat processing companies are down big today after federal police raided offices as part of a corruption investigation.
BRF (BRFS) shares were down 7.6% in midday trading, bringing the year-to-date decline to 20% for its U.S.-traded shares. JBS (JBSAY) was also down 7.5%; it’s shares up 1% year to date. BRF processes poultry and pork, and sells related proceeded foods, condiments, frozen vegetables and soybean byproducts in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. JBS processes beef, pork, lamb, chicken and related convenience food products. The iShares MSCI Brazil Capped ETF (EWZ) is down 1.6% today, but is up more than 11% this year.
Reuters reports unsanitary practices are at the heart of a lengthy investigation into meat businesses, including exporters:
Brazil's BRF, JBS shares slump after China suspends meat imports
Reporting by Bruno Federowski; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Reuters
Mar 20, 2017
Shares of meatpackers BRF SA and JBS SA slumped on Monday after China and other countries temporarily suspended imports of Brazilian meat following a scandal over alleged bribery of inspectors.
Common shares in BRF and JBS dropped as much as 10 percent early on Monday, making them the biggest decliners by far on Brazil's benchmark Bovespa stock index.
A source told Reuters China's temporary imports ban is a "precautionary measure."
Earlier in the day, Bloomberg News had reported that Brazilian beef products currently on the way to China would not get clearance at customs, citing a source who was notified of the decision.
Credit Suisse Securities analyst Victor Saragiotto wrote in a Monday note to clients that the scandal "could be enough to compromise temporarily Brazilian protein's acceptance worldwide."
HOW BRAZIL’S MEAT SCANDAL COULD IMPACT EXPORTS
The meat industry is one of the cornerstones of the Brazilian economy
By plus55 > Brazil Business
Mar 19, 2017
It took Brazil’s meat industry decades to convince the world that their products were quality. In fact, even Oscar-winning actor Robert de Niro appeared on commercials vouching for Brazil’s processed meat. The country is now the world’s second-largest meat exporter, shipping beef, pork, and poultry to over 150 countries. Every year, exports brought $14.5 billion to Brazil. However, chances are those numbers will go down very soon. Way down.
Brazil’s Federal Police unveiled a scheme that bribed federal auditors in exchange for sanitary permits to rotten beef and poultry containing cardboard fragments. That episode is capable of destroying the image of the entire sector. While JBS and BRF, the industry’s leaders, lost almost $2 billion in one day, other players who are not in the scandal suffered multi-million losses as well.
“In other countries, consumers don’t know the multitude of Brazil’s meat brands. For them, it’s all Brazilian meat,” says Blenda Lara, a lawyer specialized in foreign trade.
She continues: “Things get even bleaker when we analyze that JBS and BRF, which are at the center of the scandal, are present in other sectors of the food industry, like dairy products. Consumers could boycott not only their meat but their entire production.”
Less than one year ago, Brazil had pulled an amazing deal to allow its beef into the U.S. market after 17 years of negotiations. American safety standards for foreign products are among the world’s strictest, and many countries could follow the U.S. in opening their markets to Brazilian beef.
Following the scandal, it would be a surprise if the U.S. didn’t back down from the deal.
Other countries might force prices down or even forbid imports from Brazil altogether, as the European Union has threatened. The bloc’s ambassador to Brazil, João Gomes Cravinho, told O Globo that the EU will suspend imports unless Brazil offers sufficient explanations to the problem. Today, Brazil is the EU’s biggest poultry supplier.
News couldn’t be worse for a country highly dependent on the agribusiness.
Understand Brazil’s meat scandal ...
EU to block any firms involved in Brazil meat scandal
Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by David Clarke, Reuters
Mar 20, 2017
The European Commission is monitoring meat imports from Brazil and any companies found to be involved in a meat scandal there will be denied access to the European Union market, a spokesman said on Monday.
Brazilian police raided global meatpacking companies JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) and BRF SA (BRFS3.SA) as well as dozens of smaller rivals on Friday in a crackdown on alleged payments to health officials to conceal unsanitary conditions.
"The Commission will ensure that any of the establishments implicated in the fraud are suspended from exporting to the EU," a spokesman for the European Commission told a press briefing.
The Commission said the scandal would have no impact on negotiations between the European Union and South American bloc Mercosur about free trade agreements.
Any deal would include a chapter on sanitary measures and food safety standards, a spokesman said...