Sao Paulo, November 7, 2018 – JBS has just signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Shanghai with the Alibaba Group, the global e-commerce giant, to sell animal protein – beef, pork and poultry – in China. The agreement could be worth up to US$ 1.5 billion over three years – representing the biggest ever deal in this sector between Brazil and China.
The MoU was signed by Renato Costa, CEO of JBS Beef Brazil, and Richard Wang, an executive from Win Chain, a subsidiary of the Alibaba Group which focuses on fresh foods and coordinates the company’s supply chain. The ceremony took place yesterday (6) at the China International Import Expo (CIIE) and was attended by other JBS executives, including Joanita Karoleski, CEO of Seara, and Brent Eastwood, CEO of JBS Australia, as well as Zhang Ye, CEO of Win Chain.
China is one of JBS’ biggest export destination and with the deal, JBS is expanding its B2C and B2B markets in China, especially for beef. The Company had previously been conducting tests with Alibaba to serve demand for e-commerce packaging and meat cuts and the first products are set to be shipped within 30 days.
“This deal will significantly expand our beef business and build further value for the Friboi brand, which we launched in China during the CIIE. We have developed products based on packaging, cuts and portions specifically designed for the Chinese market”, said Renato Costa. “Our brands are increasingly being recognized for the high quality and safety of the food we produce, with product traceability and a sustainable production process – issues of increasing importance to consumers – and they will be available across a variety of channels for either corporate customers – retail and food service – or end consumers (B2B)”, he explained.
The agreement with Alibaba was signed with the Win Chain platform, which focuses on fresh foods and coordinates the Alibaba supply chain. As a JBS partner, the platform will provide solutions tailored for the Chinese market, such as sales channels, cold chain distribution, support for big data and other services to provide a fully integrated process.
JBS at the CIIE
The China International Import Expo (CIIE) will run until November 10 and is already considered China’s biggest business fair. JBS Brazil is represented by Friboi, Seara and JBS New Business and will be showcasing its brand portfolios, including Great Southern and Aberdeen Black, from Australia and the Chef’s Exclusive and Aspen Ridge, from the US. The portfolio focuses on higher added-value products and products specially designed for the Chinese market. In addition to gaining an up-close view of its customers’ needs and requirements, the Company also expects to prospect for new partners and offer solutions for a variety of sales channels in one of the world’s largest markets.
Yesterday, 21 CEOs from around the world were chosen to take part in the official CIIE opening ceremony, followed by an audience with Chinese president Xi Jinping. JBS, China’s biggest animal protein supplier, was represented by Renato Costa – the only South American executive to attend the meeting.
JBS in China
JBS’ growth strategy in China is focused on serving specific requirements of local customers, focusing especially on channel segmentation, such as B2B, food service, retail and e-commerce; The Company has a wide-ranging portfolio of added-value products offering high quality and safety and a selection of animal proteins. “JBS understands the complexities of the Chinese market and it has large-scale production capabilities that can fully serve local demand”, said Costa.
JBS is one of the world’s leading food industry companies with approximately 230 thousand employees in over 15 countries. The Company owns a portfolio of brands that are acknowledged for their excellence and innovation, including Friboi, Moy Park, Pilgrim’s Pride, Primo, Seara, Swift, Gold’n Plump and others, serving over 350,000 customers of more than 150 nationalities worldwide. The company’s focus on innovation also reflects its management approach to related businesses in areas such as leather, biodiesel, collagen, personal hygiene and cleaning products, natural wrappings, solid waste management solutions, metal packaging and transportation. JBS has adopted best sustainability practices throughout its value chain and constantly monitors its suppliers using satellite imagery, georeferenced maps of supplier farms and monitors official data from government agencies; the company also focuses on the highest possible food safety and quality standards. The success of JBS’s operations is closely tied to our Animal Welfare practices, which are rigorously applied and have received an increasing share of investments to further improve the Company’s efforts in this area.