US – World’s largest meat producer JBS has come out strong from a cyber attack that almost paralyzed its North America and Australia operations, announcing major investments in the regions that were hit by the cyber attackers.
Just a few days after paying an equivalent of US$11 million to prevent unforeseen risk from the cyber attack, JBS has said it is investing more than US$130 million in the U.S. beef industry to increase production capacity at two of its major beef processing facilities in Grand Island and Omaha, Neb.
The company is on schedule to complete a significant expansion of its Grand Island beef production facility, including the construction of a new harvest floor and enhanced animal welfare facilities, in late summer.
JBS USA is also expanding cooler capacity and upgrading the fabrication floor at its Omaha beef production facility.
These expansions will increase processing capacity by nearly 300,000 head of cattle per year, providing increased access and opportunity for the more than 1,100 local cattle producers who support the facilities.
“At JBS USA, we recognize the importance and cultural significance of beef – from the men and women who raise cattle, to the frontline essential workers who process beef, to the families who enjoy a tender steak or hamburger as part of the family meal,” said Tim Schellpeper, President of the JBS USA Fed Beef business unit.
“Our longstanding commitment to the U.S. beef industry and continued reinvestment in its success will help ensure that beef remains at the center of plates around the world for years to come.”
To ensure consistent access to a skilled workforce, JBS USA has also provided more than $150 million in annualized wage increases over the last twelve months.
This permanent yearly investment in increased wages does not include the more than $71 million in short-term incentives and non-permanent bonus payments provided to its U.S. beef workforce during the pandemic.
JBS Australia’s US$175m acquisition of Rivalea
JBS Australia, which was also affected by the cyber attack, has also announced that it agreed to purchase Australian pork business Rivalea from Singapore-listed QAF Ltd in a deal valued at US$135 million.
With an extensive product line in various categories and vertically integrated, Rivalea is a market leader in hog breeding and processing in Australia, accounting for 26% of the hogs processed in that country.
The acquisition of Rivalea will allow JBS to increase its product diversification in Australia, increasing the volumes of value added products using pork meat within the Primo business, as well as opening up new opportunities for domestic and export sales of pork.
The acquisition is subject to relevant regulatory approvals including the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB), both in Australia.
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