Brazil’s JBS wins a quarter of Trump-tariff contracts for pork

A Brazilian-owned meat processing company undercut its competition by more than $1 per pound to win nearly $78 million in pork contracts through a federal program launched to help American farmers offset the impact of the ongoing trade war. As a result, JBS USA has won more than 26 percent of the $300 million the USDA has allocated so far for pork purchases — more than any other company, according to the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.(No paywall)

JBS, under fire for taking Trump’s tariff bailout, is accused of polluting a Colorado river

In a new lawsuit, environmental advocates say a Colorado beef-packing plant owned by JBS has been dumping polluted wastewater into a river for years. The suit comes as the Brazilian company is under fire for taking millions in President Trump's tariff bailout payments. (No paywall)

Bill would require USDA to buy American with trade bailout funds

A new bill from Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro would require that a subset of tariff bailout funds be allocated to American producers only. The bill comes after reports that tens of millions of dollars in bailout funds have been spent on products from Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS.

Ranchers suit claims packers conspired to deflate beef prices

Last week, several Midwestern feedlot owners along with the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund (R-CALF) filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that dominant meatpackers conspired to depress cattle prices starting in 2015. The case argues that JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef strategically cut back on open market cattle bids, closed plants, and imported costly foreign cattle in order to force farmers to accept lower prices and manipulate spot market cattle values.(No paywall)

Undercover investigation finds animal abuse at JBS supplier

An undercover investigation by the farm animal welfare group Mercy For Animals recorded multiple instances of animal abuse and extreme confinement on Tosh Farms, a pork producer and supplier to JBS, the largest meat company in the world. The investigation coincides with an approaching ballot measure in California that would outlaw such practices for products sold in the state.

Marfrig buys National Beef, becoming world’s No. 2 beef company

Marfrig Global Foods, a Brazilian meat processor, has acquired National Beef for $969 million. The deal will make Marfrig the second-largest beef processor in the world, after Brazil’s JBS.

As ICE threatens, meatpacker struggles to find workers

In December 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement carried out the largest workplace raid in history. They arrested over 1,300 workers in six states, including 300 from Cactus, Texas, a small town with just over 3,000 residents. The Cactus workers were picked up from a meatpacking plant, then owned by Swift & Co. before it was acquired by JBS in 2007.

JBS to sell world’s largest cattle-feeding operation to investment group

Meatpacking giant JBS has agreed to sell Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the world’s largest feedlot operation, to New York-based Pinnacle Asset Management. Five Rivers feeds 900,000 head in multiple states.

Montana Senator helps Chinese win $200-million sweetheart deal for cattle

During President Donald Trump’s recent trip to China, Montana's Republican Senator Steve Daines negotiated a $300 million beef cattle deal between the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Chinese e-retailer JD.com. The deal calls for the retailer to buy $200 million of cattle between 2018 and 2020, and invest $100 million in a new feedlot and packing plant in Montana. Some ranchers are concerned that this unusual deal will favor certain ranchers over others, and further concentrate power over the American livestock sector in the hands of Chinese companies.