Issue Winter 14
Part of a global juggernaut, JBS USA is a top animal protein producer and exporter. Today, the company is a leading beef and lamb producer in the U.S. and Australia, a significant pork producer in the U.S., and a leading chicken producer in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico.
Headquartered in the U.S. in Greeley, Colo. and owned by JBS SA, a Brazilian multinational, the company employs more than 85,000 people in North America and Australia. It entered the U.S. market in 2007 with the purchase of Swift Foods, which was renamed JBS USA. On a global scale, it is part of an organization that is the largest animal protein processor in the world. It has 140 production facilities, boasting a global, diversified, low-cost production platform that allows it to produce a wide variety of products including food, leather, pet products and biodiesel.
“JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, further-processed and value-added beef, pork, lamb and poultry products for sale to customers in more than 100 countries on five continents,” Procurement Sourcing Manager Tim Wagner says. “As one of the leading processors in the United States, our primary market is the domestic market and the millions of American consumers who enjoy our products each and every day.”
The company sells its products primarily to retail customers, such as grocery store chains, wholesale clubs and other retail distributors and foodservice customers. This includes foodservice distributors, further processors and chain restaurants. It also produces and sells by-products derived from its meat processing operations, such as hides and variety meats, to customers in the clothing, pet food and automotive industries, among others.
“Each customer seeks different quality attributes, and our role is to meet the discerning needs of a diverse customer base,” Wagner says.
JBS USA is unique in its focus on international markets. The company is able to have an incredible focus on selling the right products, at the right price to the right markets at the right time. Its origins in Brazil are what give the company this focus.
“We have an extraordinary team of passionate professionals across the globe with direct experience in all of the major markets,” Wagner says. “No other company is as well positioned, both from a production footprint and international market intelligence standpoint, to meet the protein needs of the global consumer.”
Among the most significant trends JBS USA has seen in the last few years has been tremendous growth in protein consumption in Asia and in developing markets. As incomes rise, consumers improve their diets and increase protein consumption. This trend will continue as global population growth increases and incomes rise.
“We have strategically positioned the company to invest in areas around the globe where efficient, scalable protein production is feasible,” Wagner says. “From these platforms, we are uniquely positioned to meet global protein demand growth.”
Positioned for the Future
Since the company’s entry into the U.S. market, it believes it has made tremendous investments in the essential elements of its business. Wagner says these essential elements are its people and facilities. The company has acquired many facilities over the years, and many of those facilities had been starved from capital investment and a lack of focus.
“We immediately changed this, investing more in our facilities than any other company in our industry over the last six years,” Wagner says. “These investments have improved the performance of our operations and created safer, more efficient environments for our team members.”
In addition, these investments positioned the company to be able to create innovative products that address customer demand. Beyond that, investments in the company’s environmental programs and associated facilities, including waste water and rendering, have improved its stewardship efforts and allowed the company to be a better neighbor to the communities in which it lives and works.
One recent sustainability initiative was announced this summer, when Blue Earth signed an energy purchase agreement and land lease agreement with JBS Food Canada Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS USA. The partnership will oversee the development of a $29 million co-generation power facility that will supply electricity for JBS’s protein processing plant as well as thermal energy from the waste heat of the turbine.
As the company seeks its best prospects and opportunities for growth in the next few years, it feels that its biggest priority is to play a role in what it sees as the greatest challenge of our time: feeding the world. The resources of our planet are not increasing. To meet this challenge, JBS USA is going to need to do more with less and responsibly marshal the finite natural resources available to meet these growing demands. At the same time, the company plans to leave the planet in a better form than which it was found.
“With exponential population growth through 2050, rising middle class growth and increasing demand for protein, it will be an incredible challenge to meet the nutritional needs of a growing planet,” Wagner says. “But we believe this can be accomplished. It will require dedication, innovation and commitment.
“We work hard every day to improve our operations, increase our efficiencies, responsibly source livestock and poultry and partner with our customers and the industry to meet this challenge in a responsible, sustainable manner,” he adds.