JBS, the largest meat processing company in the world, was founded by José Batista Sobrinho, a rancher in Anápolis, Brazil, in 1953. The Meat Atlas, a non-profit publication that tracks the industry, estimates that JBS slaughters 42 million chickens, 170,000 cattle and 350,000 pigs every single week. JBS has featured at the top of the list of companies linked to environmental destruction in the Amazon rainforest. Multiple reports from NGOs like Amnesty and Greenpeace have repeatedly linked JBS to farmers and ranchers who have been engaged in widespread deforestation. The conglomerate has also been accused of corruption, bribery, and price-fixing in both Brazil in the U.S. In 2017, Joesley and Wesley Batista, two major shareholders of JBS, admitted to spending US$129 million to bribe nearly 1,900 politicians in Brazil in recent years, and agreed to pay a US$3.2 billion fine.


Frozen processed foods, meat


Top 5 Offense Groups (Groups Defined)Penalty TotalNumber of Records
competition-related offenses$135,206,5726
employment-related offenses$32,703,29936
environment-related offenses$5,591,52159
safety-related offenses$2,679,390143

(April 11, 2022)

Number of Records
Total Penalties
$176,180,782 (April 11, 2022)
Individual Records & Summaries
Click here for violation data on JBS
Information in this section is drawn from the Violation Tracker database produced by the Corporate Research Project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on business violations of laws and regulations in the United States. For specific examples of misconduct, please click on the links.


Article Archive

JBS USA: Behind America’s Leading Meat Processor

Published by
Sentient Media
Taylor Meek

JBS USA is a leading beef and pork processor in America, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Brazilian company JBS S.A., the largest beef and pork producer in the world by sales. Its size comes at a cost to the environment, the animals, and human health.

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JBS: The Brazilian butchers who took over the world

Published by
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Lucy Michaels, Dom Phillips, André Campos, Diego Junqueira, Claire Smyth, Rory Winters

If you eat meat, you probably buy products made by one Brazilian company. A company with such power it can openly admit to having bribed more than 1,000 politicians and continue to grow despite scandal after scandal. And you’ve probably never heard of it.

Read more
Videos & Podcasts
Brazilian Activists Protest the Largest Beef Producer in the World
PETA protests outside JBS meat packaging facility as COVID-19 cases climb at the plant


JBS Meat Plant Union Workers Protest Outside OSHA Offices
Workers in slaughterhouses protest, demanding better working conditions


"I learned the hard way that the cheapest meat is that of the worker"
Investigator got access to JBS slaughterhouse and exposed terror of the pork industry in Brazil


  • The Boys From Brazil: How JBS became the world's largest meat company – and wrecked the climate to do it by Mighty Earth (2022)
  • Why Not: how the JBS brothers Joesley and Wesley turned a butcher shop in Goiás into the world's largest meat company, corrupted hundreds of politicians and almost got away with it by Raquel Landim (2019)
  • Traitors of the homeland: The bait of the Batista brothers at JBS by Claudio Tognolli (2019)
  • Name the bulls: The story of the JBS swindles by Bernardino Coelho da Silva and Claudio Tognollo (2018)
  • The BNDES' black box: How public money supplied Cuba, Venezuela, Angola and JBS USA by Bernardino Coelho da Silva and Claudio Tognollo (2018)
Other Key Sources

Business and Human Rights Resource Centre's profile on JBS - UK-based Business and Human Rights Resource Centre is an NGO that employs researchers on five continents who work with activists, companies and governments alike to advance human rights in business by eradicating abuse.


Recent & Ongoing Campaigns
Union democracy: 81% of JBS members vote in favor of new union contract

United Food and Commercial Workers Canada Union | February 5, 2022

After three days of voting, an overwhelming 81% of JBS union members have voted to accept the Company’s offer of settlement and ratify a new union contract.

Drop JBS Campaign

Feedback, Greenpeace UK, Mighty Earth and BankTrack | 2021

JBS’s latest green PR spin can’t change the facts: the company is destroying Brazilian forests, savannahs and wetlands. Supermarkets and banks can stop this. JBS gets away with it because retailers and banks are ignoring the company’s environmental destruction, criminal behaviour and corruption scandals.

Workers protest $15,615 federal fine for JBS meatpacking plant in Greeley where coronavirus killed six

Pattie Nieberg | The Colorado Sun | September 17, 2020

A union representing workers at a Colorado meatpacking plant where six workers died of COVID-19 and hundreds more were infected staged a protest Wednesday, claiming that federal officials should have fined the company more for its alleged failure to provide safe working conditions.

Unions demand R$ 200,000 for every JBS employee contaminated with Covid-19

Fernanda Brigatti | Folha de São Paulo | July 17, 2020

Trabalhadores da JBS em Dourados (MS) entraram com ação na Justiça do Trabalho em que pedem indenizações individuais de R$ 200 mil para cada funcionário que tenha sido contaminado pela Covid-19 e outros R$ 100 mil para todos os demais que ficaram expostos à contaminação.

Animal Rights Activists Protest JBS Slaughtering Animals, Stand In Solidarity With Employees

Jackie Harris | Utah Public Radio | June 26, 2020

In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak at a meatpacking plant in Hyrum, animal rights activists have used the situation as an opportunity to protest.

Union representing JBS workers files complaints against meatpacking facility

Joe Vaccarelli | The Denver Channel | July 15, 2020

The union that represents more than 3,000 meat packing employees at JBS in Greeley has filed formal complaints against the company regarding working conditions and directly lobbying employees during contract negotiations.

Major Investigations
& Lawsuits
JBS reaches 'icebreaker' settlement of beef price-fixing claims

Jonathan Stempel | Reuters | February 2, 2022

JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) agreed to pay $52.5 million to settle litigation accusing meat-packing companies of conspiring to limit supply in the $63 billion-a-year U.S. beef market in order to inflate prices and boost profit.

US and European politicians call for investigation into JBS

Poder 360 | January 5, 2022

Três legisladores dos Estados Unidos, Reino Unido e Europa pediram uma investigação das práticas comerciais da companhia de carnes, JBS.

The Brazilian Federal Police Opens an Investigation into Payments of R$ 9 million from JBS to Former Bolsonaro Lawyer Frederick Wassef

Poder360 October 26, 2020

A Polícia Federal abriu 1 inquérito para apurar movimentações financeiras de Frederick Wassef, ex-advogado do senador Flávio Bolsonaro (Republicanos-RJ) e de seu pai, o presidente Jair Bolsonaro. A investigação se baseia em documento de inteligência do Coaf (Conselho de Controle de Atividades Financeiras) produzido em julho deste ano.

SEC Charges Brazilian Meat Producers With FCPA Violations

SEC | October 14, 2020

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that Brazilian nationals Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista and their companies J&F Investimentos S.A. and JBS S.A., a global meat and protein producer, have agreed to pay nearly $27 million to resolve charges arising out of an extensive bribery scheme that took place over multiple years.

Bolsonaro administration paid BRL 47 million to JBS to buy meat, according to magazine

UOL | August 23, 2020

A JBS recebeu R$ 47 milhões do governo Jair Bolsonaro (sem partido) para fornecer carne aos militares, segundo a revista Crusoé. De acordo com a publicação, o cardápio contratado inclui peças de picanha, maminha e filé mignon.

Brazil meat-packing giant JBS to pay record $3.2bn corruption fine

BBC News Brazil | May 31, 2017

The pair, who resigned from their board positions at the company last week, say they spent 600m real to bribe nearly 1,900 politicians in recent years.

Environmental Impacts
Feds Find 6 Cows Shot Multiple Times at JBS; PETA Seeks Investigation

PETA | March 3, 2022

After new U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) documents revealed that six cows had been repeatedly shot in the head—leaving them still conscious and in severe pain, as some of them looked or even jumped around after the first shot—at the JBS slaughterhouse near Plainwell, PETA sent a letter today to Allegan County Prosecuting Attorney Myrene Kay Koch asking her to investigate...

Brazil's JBS bought 301,000 cattle from 'irregular' farms in the Amazon, audit finds

Ana Mano | Reuters | October 7, 2021

Nearly a third of the cattle bought by JBS SA in the Brazilian Amazon state of Para came from ranches with “irregularities” such as illegal deforestation, prosecutors found in a 2020 audit of the world’s largest meatpacker released on Thursday.

Brazil's JBS accused of violating Amazon rainforest protection laws

Anthony Boadle | Reuters | March 31, 2021

The world’s largest meatpacker, Brazil’s JBS SA, has for years knowingly bought cattle that were raised on illegally deforested land, turning a blind eye to regulations meant to protect the Amazon rainforest, Brazil’s environmental regulator has alleged.

Revealed: new evidence links Brazil meat giant JBS to Amazon deforestation

André Campos, Andrew Wasley, Alexandra Heal, Dom Phillips and Piero Locatelli | The Guardian | July 27, 2020

New evidence appears to connect JBS, the world’s biggest meat company, to cattle supplied from a farm in the Brazilian Amazon which is under sanction for illegal deforestation.

Brazil: Cattle illegally grazed in the Amazon found in supply chain of leading meat-packer JBS

Amnesty International | July 15, 2020

Cattle illegally grazed in protected areas of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest have entered the supply chain of the world’s largest meat-packer, JBS, Amnesty International said today in a 69-page report, From forest to farmland.

JBS is destroying the Amazon

Jaydee Hanson and Julia Ranney | The Ecologist | March 30, 2020

Something strange is afoot in the US beef industry. The US is technically the world’s largest beef producer, but meatpacking companies from Brazil, the second largest country-of-origin, are consolidating the industry.

Greeley JBS Meat-Processing Plant Allegedly Violated The Clean Water Act For 5 Years

Taylor Allen | Colorado Public Radio | November 21, 2019

Advocacy groups sued JBS USA’s meat-processing plant for how it’s discharging its water into a Greeley stream, but now are in discussions over a settlement

Employment Practices
& Relations
US Department of Labor Cites JBS Foods Inc. For Repeated Safety Failures After Worker’s Death at Swift Beef’s Colorado Facility

US Department of Labor | September 28, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited JBS Foods Inc. – one of the nation’s largest meat and pork suppliers – again, for exposing employees to safety hazards at its Greeley facilities, this time following the death of a worker who was installing a paddlewheel.

JBS ignored reports of poisoning that ended up with 25 employees at the hospital in Santa Catarina

Marcos Hermanson Pomar | The Intercept Brazil | April 8, 2021

A JBS foi alertada com uma semana de antecedência sobre funcionários intoxicados na unidade de Nova Veneza, no interior de Santa Catarina – mas ignorou os avisos até 25 colaboradores da unidade terem sido hospitalizados.

Neither investigation nor funeral: the contaminated workers that JBS insisted on ignoring

Marcos Hermanson Pomar | O Joio e o Trigo | March 2, 2021

Funcionária grávida contraiu a brucelose, teve parto prematuro e perdeu a criança logo depois. Animais sem vacinação, falta de equipamentos de proteção e tentativas de culpar os funcionários: um passo a passo das estratégias da maior produtora de carne do mundo.

The JBS meat grinder in Brazil: 7 work accidents a day

Marcos Hermanson Pomar | O Joio e o Trigo | December 12, 2020

Com receita líquida global de R$ 204 bilhões em 2019, a empresa goiana JBS – fundada em 1953, na cidade de Anápolis – é a quarta maior empresa do ramo de alimentos no planeta.

EEOC says JBS violated Muslim worker rights-report

Reuters | September 5, 2009

A federal panel has ruled that the U.S. arm of Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA JBSS3.SA violated the civil rights of more than 100 Somali Muslim workers who were fired last year after a walkout over a dispute about prayer breaks, according to newspaper reports.

Special | Deaths, long-term effects and exhausting work: the trail of Covid-19 in large slaughterhouses

Renan Xavier, Vanessa Ramos and Daniel Giovanaz | Brasil de Fato | November 15, 2021

Dez empresas se comprometeram a adotar normas mais seguras de funcionamento. Entre as grandes do setor, a JBS foi a única a não firmar as medidas propostas pelo MPT e a primeira condenada por dano moral coletivo na pandemia... A JBS foi condenada a pagar R$ 20 milhões pelos danos causados em suas instalações.

Covid cases and deaths grossly underestimated among meatpackers, House investigation finds

Taylor Telford | Washington Post | October 27, 2021

At least 59,000 workers at Tyson Foods, Smithfield Foods, JBS, Cargill and National Beef — companies that control the lion’s share of the U.S. meat market — were infected with the coronavirus during the pandemic’s first year, according to a report the subcommittee released Wednesday on its findings.

JBS' Workers Paid the Ultimate Price, While Profits Surged

Jessica Carey-Webb and David Wallinga | National Resources Defense Council | May 25, 2021

As an industry, meatpackers seem to operate according to their own set of rules, which may lead to reprehensible and sometimes deadly consequences. Among its global peers JBS, the world’s largest meatpacking company, is exceptional.

The contamination of the Indigenous community in Dourados, Brazil, began at a JBS slaughterhouse

Rafael Oliveira | Agência Pública | June 10, 2020

Desde que o primeiro caso indígena foi registrado, o número de infectados do município, que era de 21 pessoas, teve um aumento de mais de 3.500%.

JBS sued over alleged violation of Brazil indigenous rights during pandemic

Reuters | June 4, 2020

Meatpacker JBS SA is being sued for alleged violation of indigenous workers’ rights after firing 40 members of the Kaingang tribe from a plant in southern Brazil, according to a court document.


Corporate Headquarters
Av. Marginal Direita do Tietê, 500 - Vila Jaguara, São Paulo - SP, 05118-100
Most Recent Gross Revenue
$52.42 billion (2020) | source
Most Recent Net Revenue
$0.892 billion (2020) | source
Stock Exchange Tickers

Major Funders

BankTrack's profile of JBS.

Netherlands-based BankTrack tracks the involvement of commercial banks in financing business sectors and specific activities with a negative impact on people and planet.

Major Shareholders

Click here for the latest list.

Political Influence

Open Secrets - Tracks corporate lobbying of US politicians.

Open Secrets Logo

OpenSecrets.org Profile of JBS

Politicians in São José dos Campos received funding from JBS

Sindicato dos Metalúrgicos | May 29, 2017

A JBS, empresa pivô do escândalo que abala o país, doou mais de R$ 550 mil a 19 candidatos da região, ligados a nove partidos, nas eleições de 2014. Apesar de terem sido declaradas à Justiça Eleitoral, as doações deixam claro como as empresas agem para garantir seus interesses junto ao poder público.

Import & Export Data

ImportYeti - Shipping Tracking Tool - Bill of ladings are public information that are too cost prohibitive, challenging to obtain and difficult to use for the average joe. ImportYeti's goal is to solve that problem.

Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker
Subsidy Tracker is a project of Good Jobs First in Washington DC. It is the most comprehensive source of data on state and federal subsidies in the United States. For more details, click on the links.
Click here for details of subsidies received by JBS.
Tax Havens
& Evasion
Tereza Cristina Gave Tax Incentives to JBS When She Was State Secretary

Congresso em Foco | November 18, 2018

Indicada a futura ministra da Agricultura no governo do presidente eleito, Jair Bolsonaro, a deputada Tereza Cristina (DEM-MS) concedeu incentivos fiscais à empresa JBS na mesma época em que arrendou propriedade ao grupo.

Beef firm at centre of corruption scandal channelled $1.7bn through tax havens

Earthsight August 29, 2018

The biggest companies involved in trading commodities driving deforestation in Brazil are channeling money through tax havens, inflating their profits and preventing greater scrutiny of their operations, according to a paper in Nature.

Brazil tax agency alleges fraud in 2009 JBS-Bertin merger

Reuters Feb 28, 2016

Brazilian tax authorities allege that the 2009 merger of JBS SA and the Bertin Group, which created the world’s largest meatpacker, involved fraud that harmed minority shareholders, the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Sunday.

Major Projects
JBS wraps up Rivalea acquisition

Dean Best Just Food | Jan 4, 2022

In a brief stock-exchange filing today (4 January), JBS said it had finalised a deal that had been scrutinised by Australia’s competition watchdog. “With this acquisition JBS strengthens its position in Australia, becoming the leader in pork processing in the country..."

Approval given for $500m takeover of Tasmanian salmon farmer by Brazilian meat processing giant

Royce Kurmelovs The Guardian Oct 25, 2021

Brazilian meat processing giant JBS has been cleared to take over Tasmanian salmon farmer Huon by the Foreign Investment Review Board in a move environmental groups fear will make it harder to regulate the local industry.

Beef giant JBS vows to go deforestation-free — 14 years from now

Aurora Solá Mongabay News April 6, 2021

JBS, the largest animal protein producer on Earth, made headlines last week with a commitment to achieve zero deforestation across its global supply chain by 2035 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. The Brazilian meatpacking company congratulated itself as “the first major company in its sector to set a net-zero target.”

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