Corrupt Meatpacker JBS Goes to Wall Street to Fund Global Takeover
Written by Angela Huffman and Joe Maxwell; edited by Dee Laninga
Did you ever wonder how a company like JBS was able to take over the meat industry in the United States? Here’s how you do it:
First you bribe 1,800 elected officials and get billions of dollars. When you’ve exhausted that money by buying out U.S. meatpacking companies like Swift, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Cargill’s pork division, your next move would be to go to Wall Street to get billions more so you can buy out the rest of your competitors.
With JBS’ plan to go public on the New York Stock Exchange, the most corrupt corporation on the planet aims to secure the capital to complete its takeover of the world’s meat industry.
Who Is JBS, Anyway?
From a small butcher shop in Brazil, JBS has become the world’s largest meat processing company and a dominant force in America’s food industry. Its growth is the result of abusive and illegal activity.
JBS is headed up by the corrupt billionaire brothers from Brazil, Joesley and Wesley Batista. In 2017, investigations revealed that the Batistas had spent a decade bribing more than 1,800 Brazilian politicians to secure government-subsidized loans and other favors needed to begin buying up meatpacking competitors in the U.S. Joesley Batista admitted that without their illegal activities in Brazil, they would not have had the ability to take over the U.S. beef market.
Today, JBS is the largest global beef and poultry producer, second largest global pork producer, and a leading lamb producer. While JBS is not a household name, its 177 brands have infiltrated grocery stores worldwide.
No one and nothing has been left untouched by JBS’ abuses as they rose to market dominance. JBS was able to sell and export rotten and tainted meat to consumers around the world in 2017, after it bribed Brazilian meat inspectors. In the past three years, JBS has gouged U.S. consumers through multiple price-fixing schemes in beef, pork, and poultry. JBS is notorious for mistreating workers and polluting the environment, and has racked up hundreds of violations for workplace safety, employment discrimination, unfair wages, and environmental abuses since it began its takeover of the U.S. meat industry.
U.S. farmers and ranchers have felt the sting of the lawless Batista brothers’ corruption. In 2018 and 2019, JBS was caught tampering with their scales to get away with paying America’s farmers and ranchers less than the real value for their cattle, resulting in losses of hundreds of thousands of dollars for some farmers. JBS is one of just four corporations that control 85% of beef processing in the U.S. In regions where JBS is most dominant, farmers have no choice but to sell their livestock to the notorious meatpacker. If Wall Street funds even more JBS expansion, more farmers will have fewer options to sell their cattle, and JBS will be emboldened to squeeze them even further.
Why JBS Listing on the New York Stock Exchange Matters
With JBS’ extensive criminal track record, the company now struggles to finance their global takeover of the meat industry. But by listing on the New York Stock Exchange, JBS would become flush with cash from Wall Street investors.
“The Batista Brothers’ aspirations to monopolize the American food industry relies on securing U.S. dollars through a public listing,” writes the Ban the Batistas campaign, an emerging coalition working to stop the initial public offering (IPO). “If JBS infiltrates the New York Stock Exchange, American funds will fuel the global expansion of a corrupt, criminal duo, with the U.S. contributing to 47% of its revenue.”
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