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Thursday 26 April 2018

Irish man becomes Chairman of the world's largest meat processor

Workers prepare poultry at the meatpacking company JBS in Lapa, Brazil (AP)
Workers prepare poultry at the meatpacking company JBS in Lapa, Brazil (AP)
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The board of Brazilian meatpacker JBS SA elected Cork-born Jeremiah O‘Callaghan to the post of chairman, the company said on Friday in a securities filing.

O‘Callaghan has been investor relations director for 10 years at JBS. He will replace Tarek Farahat, who will hold a position as ‘global advisor’ while still keeping a board seat at the company’s U.S. subsidiary Pilgrim’s Pride.

The company has over 235,000 employees worldwide operating in over 20 countries. In 2016, the company had revenue of in excess of 53bln.

The company is also active in other sectors related to its core business, such as leather, biodiesel, collagen, soaps, glycerin and natural casings and owns waste management, metal packaging and shipping businesses that support its global operations.

The past year for the world's largest meatpacker has been marked by an overhaul of internal processes after JBS was embroiled in a corruption scandal following witness testimony from owners Joesley and Wesley Batista, who confessed they spent millions to bribe politicians to win business.

JBS was also among dozens of firms targeted in an investigation by the Brazilian federal police on alleged bribery of government health inspectors and politicians.

The company recently suspended beef production at 33 of its 36 plants in Brazil  after some of the country’s biggest export markets banned imports of Brazilian meats.

On Saturday, China, Egypt and Chile lifted the suspensions, bringing hope of an end to a crisis that wiped off about one-fifth of the value of Brazilian pork and poultry exports last week.

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Meanwhile a Brazilian police investigation into insider trading by the owners of JBS has found that they made a profit by taking financial positions before details of their plea bargain deal with prosecutors became public.

Additional reporting from Reuters


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