Brazilian Company JBS Dominates World Beef Industry from Farm to Fork

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Juan Forero

04/14/2011 - In many ways, JBS, the company that owns the big slaughterhouse here on the edge of town, is still run like a family business.

The founder, who began by slaughtering one or two head a day in 1953, raises calves far in the countryside. Six of his children are in JBS’s management. And ranchers such as Edson Crochiquia, who is 69 but rounds up cattle on horseback near here, spare no detail to provide the company with healthy, 1,000-pound animals.

Even a decade ago, JBS was still mainly focused on selling in Brazil. But by acquiring American giants such as Swift and Pilgrim’s Pride, JBS grew from a $1 billion private company into a $40 billion behemoth that slaughters 90,000 head of cattle a day, employs 125,000 workers and exports to 150 countries.

JBS is now the world’s biggest provider of meat, its footprint felt by feedlots, packing plants and chicken processors from Argentina to Italy to the American Midwest.

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