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Ongoing Global Consolidation in the Meat Industry

Touch the Soil News #814 (Feature photo – hog buildings owned by Smithfield / WH Group – CCA 4.0 International) This past August, Smithfield Foods acquired three Polish meat companies that made Smithfield the largest food industry employer in Poland – 9,240 employees. Smithfield is the world’s largest pork processor and is located in the United States. Smithfield, however, is only a subsidiary owned by a larger Chinese company called the WH Group. The goal of the WH Group is to become the world’s largest meat company. The WH Group, wanting to expand its operations in Europe is doing so through its subsidiary Smithfield Foods. In the news recently is…

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World’s Largest Meat Company Aflame in Corruption

Touch the Soil News #717 News is rocking around the world on the corruption activities of JBS SA – the world’s largest meat company. We wrote a few weeks back of the corruption scandals surrounding the bribing of Brazilian meat inspectors that led to compromised meat being shipped around the world. The JBS SA bribery activity includes millions of dollars of payoffs to Brazilian President Michel Temer, which now has Brazil in a national uproar for his resignation. In a plea-bargain arrangement, JBS SA senior executives Joesley Batista and Wesley Batista (brothers) revealed that in recent years, they have spent over $112 million USD to bribe nearly 1,900 politicians. What…

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The Cost of a Lie and a Bribe

Touch the Soil News #661 We’ve been covering the food scandal of the century that is unfolding in Brazil. Brazil, the world’s largest meat producer and meat exporter ($14 billion in meat exports annually) has an ethics problem. Over 30 meat packing facilities have been investigated and dozens of folks arrested in an industry wide practice of paying off meat inspectors to look the other way as compromised meat is doctored up and sold/shipped to foreign nations. As a consequence, more than 30 meat inspectors were fired. They allegedly allowed rotten meat to be sold, dates of expiration to be altered and tolerating the disguising of poor meat with chemical…

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Do You Know the World’s Largest Meat Company?

Touch the Soil News #472 Most of us have eaten meat from the world’s largest meat packing company, but don’t even know its name. The company JBS S.A. is the world’s largest meat packing conglomerate headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We don’t recognize JBS S.A. because it owns the U.S. brands of Swift and Company and Pilgrim’s Pride. JBS S.A., owns one of the hallmarks of American food companies – Swift. JBS S.A. has operations across the U.S. in the Midwest, the South and the West. JBS S.A. just announced plans for a major global restructure the ultimately will change the name to JBS Foods International with headquarters in Ireland.…

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Can you Name the Largest Food Company in the World? (Part 2 of 2)

Touch the Soil News # 146 Forbes Magazine and News has been one of the closest followers of Cargill, its finances and its global footprint. In its November 23, 2104 issue, Forbes writer Dan Alexander provided some rare insights into what Cargill is presently doing: Creating a $100 million cocoa plant in Indonesia. Putting in a $91 million livestock-feed factory in Korea. Building a large dairy feed facility in India capable of producing 1.2 million metric tons a year. All in all, Cargill has poured more than $3 billion into upgraded facilities, acquisitions and new projects around the world over the past year. Besides being directly involved with food production,…

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Should Home Gardeners Get Into Producing Their Own Meat/Proteins?

Touch the Soil News # 130 The logistics of raising fruit and vegetables are one thing. The pursuit of meat and protein is another.  There has been a revival of backyard chickens for eggs and meat. More and more cities that had restrictions on urban chickens are lifting or reducing them. It is hard to imagine that in 1859, residents of Manhattan were keeping over 50,000 pigs in the city. Posing the question as to whether or not home gardeners should be concerned about their own meat stems from a more basic question: Should meatpacking be more decentralized and are meat companies getting to big? This question came again to…

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