|Bid||0.00 x 0|
|Ask||0.00 x 0|
|Day's Range||8.23 - 8.46|
|52 Week Range||4.43 - 16.31|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.29|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.18 (2.22%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||May 08, 2020|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
(Bloomberg) -- The world’s top meat producer is starting to see blowback from investors over its approach to Amazon deforestation.Nordea Asset Management said Tuesday it’s divesting from Brazil’s JBS SA “over its ties to farms involved in Amazon deforestation” after a new report which suggest the meat giant has illegal ranchers indirectly in its supply chain.“We have really seen quite disappointing performance across the environmental, social and governance spectrum“ of the company, Eric Pedersen, Nordea’s Head of Responsible Investment, said by email.Nordea also cited JBS’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak and its past corruption scandals in Brazil.JBS declined to comment on the divestment, but the company said it’s unfortunate Nordea didn’t contact the meat producer so that it could present all its actions and measures reinforcing its commitment to sustainability.The company also reinforced its commitment to a supply chain that’s free of links to deforestation and said its governance standards have improved in recent years. Regarding the coronavirus outbreak, JBS said it has implemented a strong protocol for workers’ safety while ensuring continued production of food.Amazon deforestation has surged in the past two years under the government of Jair Bolsonaro, who defends opening up the world’s largest rainforest to further agriculture and mining. Earlier this month, after foreign investors and companies expressed environmental concerns, the government decided to put a four-month ban on fires in the region. Still, Bolsonaro and his administration often put the blame on political opponents, alleging that they spread lies about deforestation, even though global scientists and experts attest to destruction of the ecosystem.Funds With $3.7 Trillion Warn Brazil of Investor BacklashNordea, which has €230 billion ($270 billion) under management, had about $45 million invested in its JBS stake, and buy orders have been halted since last year, according to Pederson.“The latest news on illegal cattle seems to just confirm” poor practices on the part of JBS, Pederson said in a reference to a story published Monday by The Guardian that linked the meat producer to an illegal cattle rancher as its indirect supplier.Nordea is part of a group of institutional investors managing about $3.7 trillion in assets that have pressured Brazil to do more to protect the environment and protect the rights of indigenous groups in the Amazon.The group wants to “make sure that the investors’ increasing emphasis on sustainability risk is understood,” Pederson said.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Smithfield Foods, the world's biggest pork processor, said workers cannot be socially distant in all areas of its plants, in response to U.S. senators who pressed meatpackers on coronavirus outbreaks in slaughterhouses. Meatpackers are under mounting pressure to protect workers after more than 16,000 employees in 23 states were infected with COVID-19 and 86 workers died in circumstances related to the respiratory disease, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker last month said Smithfield, Tyson Foods Inc, JBS USA and Cargill Inc had put workers in harm's way to maintain production.
(Bloomberg) -- As part of an investigation into the spread of coronavirus at U.S. meat plants, Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker released responses from major producers that defended their operations during the pandemic.The four biggest meatpackers -- Tyson Foods Inc., JBS USA, Cargill Inc. and Smithfield Foods Inc. -- pointed to measures such as staggering shifts and sanitation systems, but gave soft responses when it came to implementing social distancing in production areas of the plants where workers are often in elbow-to-elbow conditions.The letters amount to some of the most extensive explanations to date about how the meat producers responded to the crisis.The companies gave no indication that workers were consistently being spaced apart on production lines. Cargill said it was raising “awareness” over maintaining distance, while Tyson said it installed barriers on production lines where “social distancing is not possible.” JBS said it increased spacing in cafeterias, but didn’t cite distancing measures for production lines.Meanwhile, Smithfield gave a more straightforward response.“For better or worse, our plants are what they are,” Chief Executive Officer Ken Sullivan said. “Four walls, engineered design, efficient use of space, etc. Spread out? Okay. Where? To say it is a challenge is an understatement.”Virus Can Travel 26 Feet at Cold Meat Plants With Stale AirThousands of America’s meat workers have fallen ill with coronavirus as infections spread rapidly through the cramped factories, and dozens have died. While companies took steps to protect employees — including by installing plexiglass barriers, distributing protective equipment and setting up hand-washing stations — experts and analysts have repeatedly warned that workers would remain vulnerable without an increase in physical distance on production lines.The senators criticized the companies for not adequately allowing workers to keep 6 feet away from one another and for shipping pork and beef overseas to meet export orders during the outbreak.None of the companies gave specifics on the number of cases or deaths at their plants.“The Covid-19 pandemic has made it painfully clear that these giant meatpackers can use their power to exploit their workers for profit,” Warren said in a statement. “We also need to massively reform our broken food and farm system to give workers, farmers, and consumer real bargaining power.”Following are highlights of the responses sent to the senators from the companies:SmithfieldSmithfield CEO Sullivan in a letter said plants weren’t designed to operate in a pandemic and that the company installed physical barriers where social distancing was impossible for workers. “For better or worse, our plants are what they are,” Sullivan wrote. “Four walls, engineered design, efficient use of space, etc. Spread out? Okay. Where? To say it is a challenge is an understatement.”“Candidly, we are weary of critics in the media who are detached from the realities of this worldwide pandemic. Namely, that we must produce food, and somebody has to do it.”The company didn’t furlough or lay off any of its 42,000 U.S. workers.About 7,000 workers at six plants that were shuttered were still paid during halts.Tens of millions of dollars were spent on personal protective equipment.Worker pay, expanded health care and PPP costs will “total in the hundreds of millions of dollars for our company in just four months.”“We have continued to run our processing plants, distribution centers, farms and feed mills for one reason: to sustain our nation’s food supply during the COVID-19 pandemic. Operating is not a question of profits; it is a question of necessity.”JBS USAJBS said it maintained operations only when it was safe to do so and that it was the first in the industry to voluntarily close a facility to contain the spread of the coronvirus.“As cases in the U.S. continue to rise, it is clear that the interventions we have put in place in all of our facilities will become our new normal until a vaccine or more effective control measures are identified,” said Andre Nogueira, CEO of JBS USA.JBS said it hired three independent epidemiologists to review its efforts. It also installed ultraviolet germicidal air sanitation and plasma air technology to neutralize potential viruses in plant ventilation systems.Exports accounted for about 12% of U.S. beef production and 28% of pork output in the first quarter. JBS USA had a market share of less than 10% of pork exports to China in the period and that number remains less than 10% throughout the year as well.“It’s important to note that exported goods are largely comprised of products not readily preferred by U.S. consumers, such as pig’s feet, livers and bone-in products. Exporting these goods that have little to no demand in the U.S. helps increase the value of hogs and maintains the nearly 800,000 jobs in the meat packing and processing industry. Such products, if not exported, would otherwise lead to lower captured value or our producers and result in less availability of chops, steaks and hamburgers that Americans enjoy.”Cargill“Maintaining a safe workplace has long been a core value of our company. Cargill recognizes that the well-being of our plant employees is integral to our business and to the continuity of the food supply chain throughout the country.”The company “continued to focus on education and awareness of social distancing inside and outside of work. This includes encouraging employees not to share food during meals”Cargill said it installed protective barriers on the production floor between employees and “provided full face shields for personnel performing any job where the installation of a protective barrier is not feasible due to the movements inherent in the performance of the job.”Cargill stressed its protein business in the U.S. comprises of beef and turkey and export volumes of these products were down from March 1 to May 31 compared to a year earlier. This decrease continued in the first three weeks of June. Cargill’s boxed-beef exports to Hong Kong fell more than a third in this period and the company has not exported any beef or turkey to China in 2020.“Cargill has maintained its ability to fulfill U.S. customers’ orders and continues to provide a steady supply of protein for the U.S. Market,” said Jon Nash, president of Cargill’s protein business in North America.“Finally, there has been no increase in livestock brought in from outside of the United States. All of our turkeys and fed cattle are sourced from U.S. growers, producers and feedlots.”TysonTyson said it remains “committed to doing our best to modify and fine tune our protective measures in an effort to keep our team members safe while also providing nutritious food to America’s families.”The company’s safety measures include “creating barriers and/or requiring face shields on production lines where social distancing is not possible.”Tyson said it chattered space of international cargo flights, to expedite delivery of face coverings, face shields, hand sanitizer and gloves by mid-April, which it said was earlier than some other companies.Tyson said it was the first company in the industry to proactively initiate a testing strategy for its workers and has likely conducted more employee testing than any other company in the U.S.Tyson said it “prioritized the U.S. market” and that a “large protion of meat exports from the U.S. are cuts of meat or portions of the animal (e.g. organ meats, chicken paws, etc.) that are not desired by our customers or consumers.”“Exporting does not threaten the American meat supply.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.