July 9, 2019
JBS USA gets 26% of US$300 million fund for US pork
JBS USA had received 26% of a US$300 million fund for US pork, an investigation of the United States Department of Agriculture's trade mitigation programme revealed.
The analysis by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting found that the programme, which was developed to support farmers during the US-China trade war, helped benefit the Brazilian meat processing company' business in the United States.
According to the report, JBS averaged a US$2.56 per pound for 5lb of pork loin cuts, while competitors bid an average of US$3.80 per pound.
In May, USDA numbers showed that JBS USA received more than US$64 million in subsidies.
"We operate US pork plants, processing American hogs raised by US farmers - the true programme beneficiaries," a company spokesperson said in late May. He stated that JBS USA wants to "support US producer prices" and aid its producer partners, hence its participation in the programme.
The spokesman also claimed that JBS USA is not getting a bailout.
"We are paid for the work of our team members in the plant and the products we produce, which are used to support important federal feeding programmes that assist US citizens," he added.
Other companies that received USDA pork packages include Tyson Foods Inc., Goodman Food Products, Lakeside Foods LLC, Mistica Foods LLC, Chicago Meat Authority Inc., Proportion Foods, Seaboard Foods LLC, Calumet Diversified Meats Inc., Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. and Native American Enterprises LLC.
JBS USA beef recently reported US$5.01 billion in revenue and pork revenue at US$1.34 billion for the first quarter of 2019.
Scrutiny of the farmers assistance programme has continued throughout the process with some multinational companies having to withdraw their bids.
In November, the USDA terminated a US$240,000 pork payment with Smithfield Foods, who is owned by Chinese company WH Group, following criticism by Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and a report by the The Washington Post.
- Supermarket Perimeter