Brazil producing more meat using less land, JBS CEO says


Reporting by Ana Mano; editing by Stephen Eisenhammer and Nick Zieminski, Reuters

October 16, 2020


SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Livestock suppliers in Brazil are producing more while using less land, as concerns mount about straining natural resources to produce food to feed a growing world population, Gilberto Tomazoni, global chief executive of the world's largest meatpacker JBS SA JBSS3.SA, said on Friday.


In remarks made during a panel discussion to mark World Food day, Tomazoni said meat production in Brazil tripled on a per hectare basis between 1990 and 2019.


Last month, JBS launched a 1-billion real fund to foster social and economic development in the Amazon, an initiative that the company says will help support local communities while also ensuring livestock production does not destroy the rainforest.


“We can guarantee 100% of our direct suppliers do not deforest the Amazon,” he told the panel. He added the company plans to use block-chain technology and will invest in other projects that would allow it to monitor the remainder of the supply chain.


The JBS fund is...





J&F pays for making those ‘Manhattan-style’ bribes to Brazilian officials


By Dan Flynn, Food Safety News by Marler Clark

October 16, 2020


As it turned out, Manhattan bank accounts and real estate were critical assets in bribing high government officials in a meat scandal in Brazil. And for that, J&F Investments S.A. has to pay millions to the U.S. government to escape criminal charges in North American for bribing Brazilian politicians and other officials. It was all part of an expensive settlement for the financial entity associated with the Batista family that’s behind JBS S.A.


J&F is the controlling shareholder of JBS S.A., the world’s largest meat company.  It has pleaded to one count of conspiracy in violation of the U.S. Foreign Corruption Practices Act (FCPA), which is associated with the bribery of Brazilian officials and companies.   Under a plea agreement, the U.S. Department of Justice is giving J&F a 50 percent credit for amounts paid to Brazilian authorities, cutting a $256.5 million fine down to $128.3 million.


The publicly-traded JBS S.A. is not a party to the agreement and does not have any liabilities arising from it.


To carry out the bribery scheme, J&F executives admitted using New York-based bank accounts to facilitate the bribery scheme and to make corrupt payments, including the purchase and transfer of a Manhattan apartment as a bribe, and holding U.S. meetings to discuss and further aspects of the illegal scheme.


James Dawson, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Washington Field Office Criminal Division, said, “No matter where it occurs, the FBI and our global partners are committed to diligently rooting out corruption that betrays the public trust and threatens a fair economy.”


“With today’s guilty plea, J&F has admitted to engaging in a long-running scheme to bribe corrupt officials in Brazil to obtain financing and other benefits for the company,” said DOJ’s Brian Rabbitt, acting assistant attorney general for the criminal division.


“As part of this scheme, executives at the very highest levels of the company used U.S. banks and real estate to pay tens of millions of dollars in bribes to corrupt government officials in Brazil in order to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing for the company and its affiliates. Today’s resolution demonstrates the department’s continuing commitment to combating international corruption and holding companies accountable for violations of the FCPA.”


J&F admitted to conspiring with others between 2005 and 2017 to violate the FCPA by paying bribes to government officials in Brazil in order to ensure that Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled banks would enter into debt and equity financing transactions with J&F and J&F-owned entities as well as to obtain approval for a merger from a Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled pension fund.


Specifically, DOJ said between 2005 and 2014, J&F engaged in a bribery scheme involving more than $148 million in corrupt payments that were promised and made to and for the benefit of high-level Brazilian government officials, including a then-high-ranking executive at the state-owned Banco Nacional  (BNDES)


J&F was able to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in financing from BNDES for the bribes. J&F also paid bribes worth more than $4.6 million to and for the benefit of a high-ranking executive of Fundação Petrobras de Seguridade Social, a state-controlled pension fund, in exchange for obtaining Petros’s approval of a merger benefiting J&F.


Also, J&F paid about $25 million in bribes to a high-ranking legislative official to secure hundreds of millions of dollars of financing from Caixa Econômica Federal, another  Brazilian state-owned and state-controlled bank.


In addition to the DOJ-J&F agreement,  it was also announced that JBS and the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) have settled with Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. for failure to maintain accurate books and records and internal accounting controls. JBS will pay $27 million to the SEC for a term of three years, during which extra government reporting will be required.


Pilgrim’s is not a party to the resolution and will not bear any liabilities arising from it, according to JBS.


“JBS and its controlling shareholder are committed to best corporate practices and close cooperation with authorities in all jurisdictions in which they operate. The agreements announced today represent an important step in their continuous efforts to improve their compliance and corporate governance programs,” said Guilherme Perboyre Cavalcanti with JBS investor relations.


Meanwhile, DOJ...