Company – TargetThis profile is a priority campaign target
Company – TargetThis profile is a priority campaign target
Why this profile?
JBS’ beef operations in Brazil have an outsized deforestation risk exposure. The company operates 20 slaughterhouses within the Legal Amazon and its monitoring of supplier compliance is limited to its direct suppliers. Its indirect supply chain risks remain unmitigated. Since 2008, 20,296 hectares have been deforested in the sample of JBS’ direct supply chain, and 56,421 hectares in its indirect supply chain.
What must happen
Banks should not renew or take on new financing agreements with JBS until and if it fully eliminates deforestation and land rights abuses from its entire supply chain, as the company is highly implicated in deforestation issues in the Amazon.
|Sectors||Beef Industry , Commodities Trading|
listed on Brazil Stock Exchange
J&F Investimentos, owned by the Brazilian Batista family, holds a controlling portion of shares of 39.99%. JBS' complete shareholder structure can be accessed here.
JBS USA – United States
Pilgrim's – United States
Seara Foods – Brazil
JBS, established in 1953 in Anapolis, Goias, is a Brazilian company that is the largest meat processing company in the world (based on sales), producing factory processed beef, pork, and poultry products, and also selling by-products from the processing of these meats. Its products are distributed under various brand names, such as Friboi, Swift, Bertin, Pilgrim's, and others. The company also operates related businesses, such as leather, biodiesel, personal care and cleaning, solid waste management, and metal packaging. It has 400 production units, facilities, and offices, of which 230 are used for the production of beef, pork, lamb, and poultry products. JBS is headquartered in São Paulo and has 150 industrial plants around the world.
Impact on human rights and communities
A common issue in the livestock industry is the use of slave labour. According to the Cattle Agreement, purchases from properties caught using slave labor or located on indigenous lands and conservation units should be blocked. Under the TAC agreement (Termo de Ajuste de Conduta), signatory meatpackers undertake to buy only cattle from farms without histories of illegal deforestation after July 2008, and they must also avoid animals from properties located in Protected Areas or those included in the “dirty list” of slave labour – a federal government register that lists employers caught perpetrating this type of crime.
However, JBS sources its cattle from at least two farms that use slave labour. These are the Três Rios farm - in which eight workers who were in conditions of slavery were rescued in 2003 by federal government’s labour inspectors - and the Brasilia farm, whose rancher was charged with employing slave-like labour in 2008, while also being fined for environmental crimes at least 13 times between 2007 and 2016, totalling about R$ 104 million in debts.
Encroachment of Indigenous Peoples lands
JBS's supply chain is also linked to the encroachment of indigenous lands. In August 2019, Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) found cattle linked to the Três Rios farm in Canarana (state of Mato Grosso), being raised in an indigenous territory neighbouring the farm. The rancher's family (Pedreschi) raises cattle in a large area of that municipality, located in the transition between the Cerrado and the Amazon rainforest. According to official records, they own four contiguous farms, totalling 8,500 acres. The properties border the Naruvôtu Pequizal Indigenous Land, sanctioned by presidential decree in 2016. But a July 2019 Ibama inspection showed that the area occupied by pastures was in fact much larger. The inspectors found that Aldo Pedreschi Filho was raising thousands of animals within the neighbouring indigenous land. The damage caused by the activity reached an area of 5,390 acres – almost 10 percent of the total area of the Pequizal do Naruvôtu Indigenous Land. As a result, Aldo Pedreschi Filho was fined R$ 10.9 million. The Mata Linda, Bela Vista, and Lago Grande farms, that also belong to the family, are bordering the Indigenous Land.
Impact on climate
Greenhouse gas emissions In 2022, IATP, Feedback and DeSmog used a UN-approved methodology to assess JBS' annual GHG emissions and found that JBS - which processed 26.8 million cattle, 46.7 million pigs and 4.9 billion chickens in 2021 - increased its annual GHG emissions by 51% in five years from 280 million metric tonnes (mmts) in 2016 to around 421.6 mmts in 2021.This is more than the annual climate footprint of Italy or Spain and close to that of France (at 443 mmt) and the UK (at 453 mmt). It is approximately equivalent to fossil fuel giant Total’s 2020 emissions.
Impact on nature and environment
Animal agriculture Meat and dairy products have the greatest damaging effects on the environment. Animal agriculture - livestock and animal feed - is responsible for approximately 60% of food-related climate emissions and is the most significant driver of deforestation. Much of this forest conversion occurs in South America, particularly in the Amazon but also in dry woodland biomes such as the Gran Chaco – South America’s second-largest forest – and the Cerrado.
Deforestation Two agricultural activities, cattle ranching and soy production, are the leading drivers of deforestation in Brazil. Ranching alone leads to approximately 80% of Amazon deforestation, with 80% of Amazon forests cleared since 2014 being occupied by cattle. Brazil’s cattle herd exceeds 200 million heads and generates USD 123 billion annually. The economic and environmental implications of these commodities extend to the global market: Brazilian soy accounted for 14.3% of the country’s total exports, generating USD 31 billion in 2017 while cattle exports accounted for about USD 5.4 billion.In fact, Brazil leads the world in exports of both commodities. If the world continues to provide a market for these commodities, these industries will enjoy considerable economic incentives to aggressively expand activities to the detriment of forest protections and indigenous land rights.
JBS, Marfrig and Minerva are the three leading beef processors in Brazil and have major operations in the Amazon, where they account for around 70% of all cattle slaughtered. JBS, in the position of largest meat processor in the world based on sales, has an outsized deforestation exposure in its Brazilian beef supply chain. The company's monitoring system is limited to its direct cattle suppliers, and it does not yet have systems in place to systematically monitor its indirect suppliers.
Illegal deforestation In March 2017 the Brazilian government fined JBS, for more than BRL 24 million for buying cattle from illegally deforested areas in the Amazon. The purchase of cattle from illegally deforested areas is an environmental crime and the government finding indicates a breach in the Plea Agreement (Termo de Ajuste de Conduta - TAC) signed in 2009 between the Federal Public Ministry and 69 companies, including JBS. Following the pressure of civil society campaigns, JBS has also signed the voluntary Zero Deforestation Cattle Agreement, in which it has committed to excluding source farms involved in any deforestation, slave labor, or invasions of indigenous lands and protected areas. Despite its measures, JBS continues to be linked to illegal deforestation in its supply chain, and an unspecified proportion of JBS' supply chain deforestation footprint may be in violation of Brazil's Forest Code. JBS was found to have purchased cattle from illegally cleared farms in Rondonia and Para. In July 2020, in Mato Grosso, JBS transported cows from embargoed farms to "clean" farms that met JBS' sourcing protocols. In 2017, JBS was fined BRL 24 million (USD 4.3 million) for buying cattle from illegally deforested areas in Para, although the company has appealed this fine.
Corruption accusations The scale of allegations of bribery against JBS stretches from meat inspectors to the highest office in Brazil. Operation Car Wash was set up to investigate the bribery scandal that engulfed the Brazilian oil firm Petrobras in 2014. An astonishing network was revealed, stretching far beyond a single company and ultimately bringing down the Brazilian government. Agriculture has long held sway over Brazilian politics — many lawmakers are farmers — but Operation Car Wash suggested that influence was backed by systemic graft. When the scandal reached JBS’s holding company, Joesley and Wesley Batista, along with five other executives, signed a plea deal in May 2017, admitting bribery of politicians. Four months later the brothers were arrested on allegations of insider trading. In November 2018, Joesley Batista was arrested again, accused of bribing officials in 2014. Even now, the Batistas’ holding company is under investigation over potential involvement in alleged collusion between executives, politicians and public servants to divert resources from a government-owned bank (The Bureau of Investigative Journalism).
Three banks - Santander, JPMorgan Chase and Barclays - provided underwriting services to JBS between 2013 and 2018 totalling USD 1.18 billion.
In May 2018, JBS and a group of banks - Banco Bradesco, Banco do Brasil, Bank of China and Caixa Economica Federal - agreed on a debt normalisation totalling BRL 12.2 billion (JBS Financial Statements Q4 2018). See below for more details.
Brazilian development bank BNDES holds 21.32% of JBS shares (dated 7 October 2019).
Large investment funds - such as Capital Group, BlackRock, Fidelity Investments and Vanguard - hold equity investments in JBS. See below for more details.
This Dutch Bank Is Financing the Meat Industry’s Biggest Emitters
Milieugroepen roepen Rabobank op te stoppen met financieren vleesindustrie
Rabobank called on to stop billions of dollars in finance to polluting industrial meat and dairy companies
Mighty Earth files complaint with US Securities and Exchange Commission against JBS ‘green bonds’
Brazilian meat giant under fire for allegedly misleading investors
New report reveals the 40 financial institutions funding the world's climate-changing methane problem
Brazil audit finds 17% of cattle bought by JBS came from 'irregular' ranches
Bank of Montreal's links to massive, illegal Amazon deforestation condemned by Indigenous leaders during biodiversity summit
JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva unlikely compliant with upcoming EU deforestation law
Time for Barclays to move Beyond Burning
Our nature and climate demand a reduction of industrial beef production, but banks missed the memo
Global bank policies ‘dangerously inadequate’ to prevent financing of deforestation, climate chaos and human rights abuses
Chicken in British supermarkets ‘linked to deforested Amazon’
JBS and environmentalists at odds over Italy-sized emissions claims
Analysis: Do the meat industry’s promises on deforestation add up?
Banks and financiers back beef giant JBS to the tune of almost $1bn despite links to widespread deforestation, land grabbing and slave labour in the Amazon
Cash Cow - How beef giant JBS’s links to Amazon deforestation and human rights abuses are aided by UK, US and EU financiers, importers and supermarkets
Barclays is big on beef and burning
Banco Santander takes a step on big oil, but what about big meat?
Investors and supermarkets urged to drop JBS after shock rise in its climate emissions
Dutch financial sector European frontrunner in financing deforestation
Activists tell banks and investors to stop doing business with the world’s largest meat company JBS
Subvertising stunt sees spoof Santander ads in Glasgow bus stops, two days before COP26 begins in the host city
Spoof Santander posters appear across Glasgow ahead of COP26
Behind the curtain of the JBS net zero pledge
Top global banks and investors made an estimated USD 1.74 billion in income since Paris Climate Agreement from deals with agribusinesses linked to destruction of climate-critical forests and human rights abuses
As blazes on embargoed Amazon land surge, links to meat industry emerge
Brazilian meat company JBS issues "sustainability-linked" bonds: Forests & Finance coalition responds
JBS shows SLB label is nothing without scrutiny
Safeguard biodiversity - finance less meat and more plants.
Stock indices let Brazil meatpackers shed ties to deforestation, draw investors
Brazil's JBS to buy plant-based meat company vivera for 341 mln euros - filing
JBS extends immunity to forest criminals to feed its supply chain until at least 2035 in surreal ‘global commitment’
JBS Makes Global Commitment to Achieve Net-Zero Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2040
Big banks make a dangerous bet on the world’s growing demand for food
Beefing up risk: the exposure of JBS’ financiers to financial, regulatory and reputational risks
Investigation: Dutch, Japanese pension funds pay for Amazon deforestation
Big Meat: facing up to the demands for sustainability
Major global banks complicit in widespread destruction of the Amazon rainforest linked to Brazilian beef companies, and international audits flawed
How Morgan Stanley is linked to deforestation in the Amazon
Queimadas na Amazônia são 3 vezes mais comuns em áreas próximas a frigoríficos
JBS, Marfrig e Minerva seguem comprando gado de áreas desmatadas irregularmente
Brazilian meat giants linked to farmer charged with Amazon massacre
Satellites, maps and the flow of cattle: Brazilian solutions for reducing deforestation are already in use
The Chain: Spike in Fire Alerts Within Sourcing Regions of Top Brazilian Meatpackers Increases Investor Risk
American financiers invested more than USD 18 billion in companies linked to Indigenous Rights violations in the Brazilian Amazon
UK purchased £1bn of beef from firms tied to Amazon deforestation
Despite Progress, Brazilian Meatpacking Companies Still Cannot Promise ‘Deforestation-Free’
How Morgan Stanley is linked to deforestation in the Amazon
BlackRock silent on livestock in latest global warming policy
Banks are fueling deadly fires, Covid-19 threatens to compound the risks
Investors drop Brazil meat giant JBS
Brazil: Cattle illegally grazed in the Amazon found in supply chain of leading meat-packer JBS
Butchering the Planet: the big-name financiers bankrolling livestock corporations and climate change
Greenpeace liga frigoríficos a criação ilegal de gado em área protegida
How deforestation and cattle raising threaten biodiversity in Brazil
UK military beef supplier linked to illegal deforestation in Brazil
New letter from 30 organisations urges investors and banks to note major risks of exposure to Amazon deforestation of buying shares in global meatpackers JBS and Marfrig
The Chain: JBS backtracks on transparency as reputation risks grow
Money to burn
Global NGOs: Dirty Dozen Companies Driving Deforestation Must Act Now to Stop the Burning of the World's Forests
Revealed: How the global beef trade is destroying the Amazon
The swashbuckling meat tycoons who nearly brought down a government
Complicity in Destruction II
Operation Car Wash: Is this the biggest corruption scandal in history?
Greenpeace Brazil Suspends Negotiations with Cattle Giant JBS
Briefing: Rabobank's financial services to the global meat and dairy companies fueling climate change
Letter from Feedback EU, Feedback Global, BankTrack & World Animal Protection to Rabobank on industrial livestock
Hot Money: 40 financial institutions are funding a climate-changing agri-methane footprint
Money to Burn
Open letter of concerns on the issuance of USD 1 billion in Sustainability-Linked Bond (SLB) by JBS
Lavagem de gado dentro de terra indígena no Mato Grosso foi parar na JBS
JBS, Marfrig, and Minerva: Material Financial Risk from Deforestation in Beef Supply Chains
JJF Holding Land-Grabbing Case Intensifies Soy Traders’ Exposure to Cerrado Deforestation
2023-01-18 00:00:00 | Mighty Earth files complaint with US Securities and Exchange Commission against JBS ‘green bonds’
Senior executives at Mighty Earth have filed a whistleblower complaint to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), calling for a full investigation into alleged misleading and fraudulent “green bonds” issued by the Brazilian meat giant JBS. Evidence presented to the SEC details how JBS, the world’s largest meat processor with operations in over 20 countries, issued $3.2 billion in four separate debt issuances or “green bonds” in 2021, referring to them as Sustainability-Linked Bonds (SLBs) tied to its stated goal to cut its emissions and achieve “Net Zero by 2040.” The heart of the complaint centers on the fact that JBS based the bond offerings on its commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2040 – but that its emissions have in fact increased in recent years and it excluded ‘Scope 3’ supply chain emissions that comprise upwards of 97% of its climate footprint. It also omitted key information from investors about the actual number of animals it slaughters each year, denying US investors vital information to make fully informed decisions about JBS’s net zero and climate-related claims as they decided whether to purchase these SLBs.
2022-12-15 00:00:00 | Brazil audit finds 17% of cattle bought by JBS came from 'irregular' ranches
Nearly 17% of the cattle bought by JBS SA in Brazil's Para state in the Amazon rainforest allegedly came from ranches with "irregularities" such as illegal deforestation, according to an audit by federal prosecutors. The audit, which examined cattle purchases between July 2019 and June 2020, said that the world's largest meatpacker allegedly bought some 93,734 head from irregular ranchers.
2022-04-21 00:00:00 | JBS increased greenhouse gas emissions by 51% over the last five years
JBS has increased its greenhouse gas emissions by a staggering 51% over the last five years and is now responsible for greater emissions than Italy's annual climate footprint, new research finds. Using an UN-approved methodology, new research contained in a media brief by IATP, Feedback and investigative website DeSmog, found that JBS – which processed 26.8 million cattle, 46.7 million pigs and 4.9 billion chickens last year – increased its annual GHG emissions by 51% in five years from 280 million metric tonnes (mmts) in 2016 to around 421.6 mmts in 2021. This is more than the annual climate footprint of Italy or Spain and close to that of France (at 443 mmt) and the UK (at 453 mmt). It is approximately equivalent to fossil fuel giant Total’s 2020 emissions.