Building on its ongoing sustainability and social responsibility efforts, JBS USA, an American-based food company and owner of Plumrose USA, a premium branded meat company, has announced plans to invest $5 million in Iowa to help local communities respond to coronavirus and invest in the future.
The investment is part of a new, national $50 million initiative called Hometown Strong that adds to commitments JBS USA has made this year to protect employees and ensure their job security amid the global pandemic.
"We take great pride in feeding millions of American families every day," says Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO. "And this year brought home the fact that our responsibilities – and the challenges we can help solve – go beyond the production of quality food. We're deeply connected to our communities, and Hometown Strong is our way of showing that commitment and support. We know each community need is different and we're listening to local leaders to determine where help is needed most."
JBS USA will partner with local officials and community leaders in Council Bluffs, Marshalltown and Ottumwa to identify investment projects that strengthen these hometowns where the company's team members live and work.
"Iowa is central to the world's food supply and JBS USA plays a critical role in food production," says Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds. "I greatly appreciate JBS USA's investment and look forward to building on our partnership as we continue to monitor and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic."
JBS USA has a significant presence in the state of Iowa, employing more than 4,800 people and paying local producers nearly $1.7 billion each year to support four Iowa facilities, including two fresh pork facilities in Marshalltown and Ottumwa, and two Plumrose USA consumer-ready production facilities in Council Bluffs. An important contributor to the Iowa economy, JBS USA has an annual payroll in Iowa of more than $270 million, and contributed more than $30 million in taxes and more than $155 million in capital investments over the last five years.
Nationally, the $50 million investment – one of the largest of its kind being made – will include donations to alleviate food insecurity, strengthen long-term community infrastructure and well-being, and support COVID-19 emergency response and relief efforts. All funds will be committed by the end of the year.
JBS USA anchors dozens of rural communities – operating more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods plants and employing 62,000-plus people. JBS USA has invested more than $100 million to enhance safeguards for team members and nearly $100 million to reward them with thank-you bonuses and increased wages. This includes hiring more than 1,000 new team members to conduct additional, around-the-clock sanitation and cleaning services, and to provide education, training and enforcement of COVID-19 preventive measures.