JBS Foods appoints Karla Thieman as senior vice president of public policy and government affairs

US – JBS Foods, a leading global food company, has appointed Karla Thieman as the new senior vice president of public policy and government affairs, to oversee US public policy and government relations strategies for JBS and Pilgrim’s Pride Corp.

In the newly added role, Thieman will be based in Washington, DC, where she will lead the establishment of a new office and government relations team.

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Cameron Bruett, JBS USA head of corporate affairs and chief sustainability officer, commented that Karla is one of the brightest, most thoughtful minds in all of the agricultural policy today.

He added that Karla has established herself as a leader in food and agriculture policy and sustainability, which, coupled with her experience, political acumen, and passion for the men and women in American agriculture, make her an excellent cultural fit for our organization.

Thieman is joining JBS from Finsbury Glover Hering, a global strategic communications advisory firm, where she served as a partner in the Food and Agriculture division.

Meanwhile, JBS Foods has been fined US$14,502 by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for violations of safety policies at seven American facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Under the new agreement with OSHA, the JBS subsidiaries and affiliates will use an “updated safe work playbook” to reduce employee exposure to coronavirus while working with third-party experts to assess plants’ operating procedures and develop the infectious disease preparedness plan.

JBS Foods USA subsidiaries and affiliates have also agreed to assemble a team of the company and third-party staff to implement an infectious disease preparedness plan at the sites to protect its workers following coronavirus citations at beef facilities.

The JBS-owned plants at issue are four Swift Beef Co. facilities in Greeley, Colorado; Grand Island, Nebraska; Omaha, Nebraska; and Cactus, Texas.

The group also includes a Swift Pork Co. site in Beardstown, Illinois; a JBS Green Bay Inc. plant in Wisconsin, and a JBS Souderton Inc. factory in Pennsylvania.

The fining also follows two inspections in April and May 2020, where OSHA cited Swift Beef Co. and JBS Green Bay Inc. failed to protect workers from coronavirus hazards.

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The inspection led to the Greeley plant being shut down on 13 April 2020 after a Covid-19 outbreak and reopened 14 days later.

Furthermore, the Green Bay plant was also closed on 26 April 2020 and remained shuttered until 6 May.

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