In this file:
· JBS acquires assets, facilities from closure of Greeley Mountain States Rosen plant
· Revealed: new evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation
· Brazilian meat giant trucked cattle from deforested Amazon ranch
JBS acquires assets, facilities from closure of Greeley Mountain States Rosen plant
222 Mountain States employees will be laid off by end of July
By Anne Delaney, Greeley Tribune (CO)
July 24, 2020
Mountain States Rosen, a Wyoming-based cooperative of lamb producers in the U.S., is closing its Greeley plant by the end of July.
The company’s facilities and certain assets were acquired by JBS USA, whose Greeley beef processing plant is the largest employer in Weld County and sits just across north 6th Avenue from the Mountain States plant.
Mountain States Rosen Vice President Human Resources Cindy Hasbrouck confirmed the closure late Friday afternoon in response to an inquiry about layoffs at the plant.
“The only information I can share at this time is the plant was purchased by JBS,” Hasbrouck wrote. “All 212 employees will be laid off and all operations will cease by the end of July.”
Mountain States Rosen is a Wyoming-based cooperative and its local operations are located at 920 7th Ave. in Greeley. The building was assessed at $806,580 for tax year 2020. The company reportedly controls a fifth of the U.S. lamb market.
Hasbrouck and Mountain States Rosen in June sent a letter to the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment alerting the agency of the closure affecting all 222 employees as required by the Colorado Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.
The letter explains the sale is the result of Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the expected sale of the building. The employees affected by the closure have jobs ranging from executive-level such as the company president to those in sales, packers, baggers, livestock handler and customer service.
A JBS spokesman said the company successfully bid for the Mountain States Rosen facility during a bankruptcy auction on July 16. The closure on the sale is expected next week, according to Cameron Bruett, head of corporate affairs for JBS USA and Pilgrim’s.
Bruett added JBS...
Revealed: new evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation
Photographs by employee appear to show company trucks being used to transport cattle from allegedly prohibited cattle farm
André Campos, Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Dom Phillips and Piero Locatelli, The Guardian (UK)
27 Jul 2020
New evidence appears to connect JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, to cattle supplied from a farm in the Brazilian Amazon which is under sanction for illegal deforestation.
This is the fifth time in a year that allegations have surfaced connecting the company to Amazon farmers linked with illegal deforestation.
Brazilian beef companies have repeatedly claimed that the biggest challenge to keeping deforestation out of their supply chains is the “indirect suppliers” – farms where cattle are birthed, or which sell to farms where cattle are fattened, which then sell on to other farms or to slaughterhouses. JBS and other major beef firms Minerva and Marfrig all say that although they closely monitor their direct suppliers – the farms that supply slaughterhouses directly – they cannot be sure that there is no deforestation further up the supply chain because they cannot monitor indirect suppliers.
But a joint investigation by Réporter Brasil, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and the Guardian has uncovered photographs taken by a JBS truck driver last summer which appear to show him transporting cattle from a farm with land under embargo after a deforestation fine, to a “clean” farm which then sold cattle on to JBS. These appear to indicate that JBS is in contact with at least one indirect supplier who has been sanctioned for deforestation.
Whilst JBS has disputed the allegations, the evidence raises serious questions about JBS’s review of its own complex supply chain, at a time when the Brazilian government is being taken to task by international investors over rising deforestation and fires.
The company has already been alleged to have been buying cattle from indirect suppliers linked to environmental offences, deforestation and other crimes in the Amazon four times in just over a year in investigations by the Guardian, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Réporter Brasil, and Greenpeace and Amnesty International.
This time, the apparent link...
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Brazilian meat giant trucked cattle from deforested Amazon ranch
By Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal and André Campos, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
July 27 2020
On a sunny day in July 2019, Alessandro Ale, a lorry driver, decided to take a few photos as he drove in a convoy across the southern end of the Amazon rainforest. He snapped the cab of his lorry – emblazoned with the logo of JBS, the world’s largest meat company – beside a sign marked “Fazenda Estrela do Aripuanã”, before he and the four other drivers set off with their load of about 250 cattle. He enjoyed the journey. “Working with good fellas is always a joyful ride,” he captioned the picture on Facebook.
But Ale’s photo, later uncovered by Repórter Brasil and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, increases concerns about the culpability of the global beef industry for the fires ravaging the Amazon each year. This June saw record fires in the Amazon, fanned by illegal deforestation as farm owners seek more land to turn into cattle pasture.
JBS, which sources cattle from the Amazon for its massive global beef market, has annual revenues of $50bn and slaughters almost 35,000 cattle a day in Brazil alone. Its beef exports to mainland Europe increased by a fifth in recent years despite the Amazon emergency.
As the outcry over the Amazon fires has grown, JBS has repeatedly said that it is doing everything it can to make sure its supply chain does not include cattle raised on illegally deforested land. But it has always added that it can only monitor farms that supply it directly. This avoids reckoning with the vast number of farms, which only raise “skinny” cows that are then sold on to fattening farms; according to JBS, these skinny cattle are untraceable.
That assurance has so far proved good enough for the world’s large retailers and food manufacturers, and JBS’s investors – but faces significant challenge in light of Ale’s photograph. The owner of Fazenda Estrela do Aripuanã, the farm where Ale said he picked up the skinny cattle, was fined R2.2m (£340,000) for destroying a swathe of the Amazon rainforest on land at that ranch. And the cattle Ale drove away, in a truck bearing a JBS logo, went to another of that company’s farms – one that directly supplies JBS.
The revelations raise serious questions requiring urgent further investigation for JBS, its investors and the global companies that buy its beef over their responsibility for contributing to the destruction of the Amazon rainforest, the “lungs of the planet”.
Reacting to the findings, Zac Goldsmith, the international environment minister, said that the UK government was looking closely at recommendations made in a government-commissioned independent report on reducing the deforestation caused by Britain’s imported products. The report suggested legislation requiring British businesses to prevent environmental harm and human rights abuses in their supply chains, and named beef as one of the most risky commodities...