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JBS USA Holdings, Inc
Industry Food processing
Founded 1855
Headquarters Greeley, Colorado, United States
Key people
Andre Nogueira, (CEO)
Revenue Increase US$17.7 billion (2012)
Parent JBS S.A.
Website jbssa.com
1916 advertisement for lard

Swift & Company is an American food processing company a wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A. (BM&F Bovespa:JBSS3), a Brazilian company that is the world's largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than US$40 billion in annual sales as of 2012. It is also the largest beef processor in Australia.

Swift & Company is based in Greeley, Colorado.[1] Its competitors include Cargill, Smithfield Foods, and Tyson Foods. In 2007, it was acquired by Brazilian JBS S.A..


The Swift meat packing company was first founded in 1855 by 16-year-old Gustavus Franklin Swift in Eastham, Massachusetts.[2] Its early origins on Cape Cod, led to later Brighton, MA, Albany, NY, and Buffalo, NY locations, Swift and Company was incorporated in 1875 in Chicago. In addition to meatpacking, Swift sold various dairy and grocery items, including Swiftning shortening, Allsweet margarine, Brookfield butter, cheese under the Brookfield, Pauly, and Treasure Cave brands, and Peter Pan peanut butter. Swift began selling frozen turkeys under the Butterball brand in 1954. Gustavus Swift also championed the refrigerated railroad car.

In the 1960s, Swift expanded into other fields, including insurance and petroleum, and formed the holding company Esmark in 1973. Two years later, Esmark bought International Playtex from Meshulam Riklis' Rapid-American Corporation.

Esmark left the petroleum business in 1980, selling Vickers Petroleum to Mobil, while Swift's fresh-meat business was spun off as a separate company, Swift Independent Packing Company (SIPCO), the same year. Esmark went on to purchase Norton Simon Inc. in 1983 before being purchased by Beatrice Foods the next year. ConAgra purchased 50% of Swift in 1988 and the remaining portion in 1990, the same year ConAgra bought Beatrice Foods.

In 2009, JBS USA acquired 63% of Pilgrim's Pride[3] Chicken Company and shortened the name to simply 'Pilgrim's'. JBS subsequently increased its ownership share to 75.3%.

On October 18, 2012, JBS USA announced management control to run XL Foods Lakeside facility for 60 days with exclusive option to buy XL Foods Canada and US operations. On January 14, 2013, JBS completed the purchase of the XL Foods Brooks facility and feedyard.[4]


In 2002, Swift & Company was purchased by Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, a leading, Dallas-based private-equity firm, and Booth Creek Management.

In December 2006, six of the company’s meat-packing facilities in Colorado, Nebraska, Texas, Utah, Iowa, and Minnesota were raided by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials, resulting in the apprehension of 1,282 undocumented immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Peru, Laos, Sudan, and Ethiopia, and nearly 200 of them were criminally charged after a ten-month investigation into identity theft.[5]

On July 12, 2007, JBS S.A., the largest beef processor in South America and one of the largest worldwide beef exporters, purchased Swift & Company in a US$1.5-billion, all-cash deal. The acquisition made the newly consolidated JBS Swift Group the largest beef processor in the world. Prior to the deal, JBS had a market capitalization of US$4.2 billion and sales revenue of $2.1 billion, and operated in 23 plants in Brazil and five in Argentina.

On July 11, 2007, the Swift companies had also completed several tender offers and consent solicitations for financing notes. These included 10⅛% senior notes due 2009 and 12½% senior subordinated notes due January 1, 2010, both issued by Swift & Company, 11% senior notes due 2010 issued by S&C Holdco 3 and 10¼% convertible senior subordinated notes due 2010 issued by Swift Foods Company.

On June 24, 2009, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that JBS Swift Beef Company, a Greeley, Colorado, establishment, recalled about 41,280 lb (18,720 kg) of beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. By June 30, the recall included over 421,000 lb (191,000 kg).[6] The beef products were produced on April 21 and 22, 2009, and were shipped to distributors and retail establishments in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.[7]

On November 4, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered JBS Carriers, a subsidiary of JBS, to install electronic on-board recorders on their trucks after a compliance review found "serious violation" of federal hours of service.[8]

On December 2, 2010, JBS announced that it would use Arrowsight, a remote video auditing company, to monitor proper sanitation to prevent cross contamination during processing. They also use Arrowsight to monitor their live cattle for proper animal welfare practices. These programs have shown great success.[9]

The Grain Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration assessed a $175,000 civil penalty against JBS/Swift on December 22, 2010, for violations of the Packers and Stockyards Act by failing to disclose when missing Fat-O-Meat’er data had prevented JBS from calculating the lean percentage of a particular pork carcass or carcasses in a seller’s lot, and substituting an undisclosed lean value for pork carcasses with missing data when calculating carcass-merit payment for hogs delivered to JBS’ Worthington, MN, Marshalltown, IA, and Louisville, KY, processing plants. The Packers and Stockyards Act is a fair trade practice and payment protection law that promotes fair and competitive marketing environments for the livestock, meat, and poultry industries.[10]

See also


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External links