JBS Hires Sustainability Officer, Fires Plant-Based Division

Oct. 3, 2022
U.S. factory was opened less than a year ago.

JBS SA, the world’s largest meat company, has hired a sustainability officer while getting rid of its U.S. plant-based meat subsidiary.

JBS has revealed plans to shutter Planterra Foods, a division it established about two years ago, and to close down the 189,000-sq.-ft. Planterra plant in Denver, which it opened in December 2021. The decision presumably will close down Ozo, a line of plant-based analogue sausages, burgers and other formed products that rolled out in American supermarkets in the summer of 2020.

About 120 employees will lose jobs in the closure, which is expected within the next 60 to 75 days, according to a JBS filing with Colorado state regulators.

JBS will continue plant-based product operations in Brazil, its home country, and in Europe.

The move comes as JBS hired its first-ever global sustainability officer. Jason Weller headed the sustainability program at Land O’Lakes, where he “helped establish one of the largest agricultural carbon credit programs in the United States,” according to a company release. Before that, he served as chief of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.