At Friboi, innovation seeks to differentiate products in the market; it involves technology and a relationship of intense partnership with suppliers, including learning about all of the possibilities in its portfolio and working to develop them. Demands related to this topic are forwarded to Research and Development (R&D) teams, which then study solutions.
In the area of packaging, the main results were gains in increasing the number of products per box shipped, resulting in fewer cardboard boxes being used. In financial terms, savings from innovations in cardboard boxes equaled R$ 10 million per year, not to mention the environmental gains from reducing raw material usage based on transported product weight.
One highlight of innovation at Friboi is in the Sourcing area. The Company developed an unprecedented service and sales platform for feeder cattle, Friboi Pecuarista.
Another initiative worth mentioning is logistical transport via train, which currently accounts for 36% of Friboi’s operations. This investment lowers operation costs and guarantees logistical agility, while also reducing the greenhouse gas emissions used in transporting the same product volume.
One of the most innovative businesses at JBS, Swift has a business model with a unique and differential strategy to providing services, with Company stores and stores at retail partners, in addition to online stores.
With a comprehensive control system across its production chain, from selecting animals to strict temperature controls during transport and display at points of sale, Swift’s mission is to change how people consume and purchase protein.
This same care is found in the production process. Alternative distribution models, such as vans that function as mobile points of sale, and delivery service, offering a unique experience, with almost immediate delivery or the ability to schedule deliveries, also show the business’ capacity for innovation.
Aimed at developing products with greater added-value, such as semi-finished and finished products, JBS Couros constantly invests in research, development and innovation. The Company’s Conceria Priante unit serves luxury and premium markets, with a production facility and research and development center in Italy. This region is a reference in leather and a hub of innovation development, bringing together the world’s top specialists in materials, machinery and equipment, and chemical products, in addition to its proximity to the Milan fashion market.
With 20 dedicated professionals, the Conceria Priante R&D center is tasked with creating disruptive and incremental innovations for the Company’s products and processes, with a capacity to create four product innovations daily. Notable among them are the use of biopolymers in the production process and the use of renewably-sourced finishes like waxes, caseins and protein- and silica-based products.
To boost the production process and results, JBS Couros has established partnerships with customers, the chemical and equipment industries and academic researchers. One of the partners, who conducts radical innovations aimed at saving water and chemicals in retanning leather, supported JBS Couros in the production of Kind Leather, a type of leather with a 46% savings in water and a 41% reduction in formulation costs (see more on the following page).
In 2019, over 4,000 projects and 2,000 R&D samples were made in the leathers division. The chief improvements included creating new leather goods for customers, optimizing industrial processes, samples to increase new customer numbers and analytical procurement of statistical databases.
Targets aimed at items such as planning assertiveness, deadlines for submitting developments and samples, approval levels for projects and costs, and others, were all met by the business. Investments in innovation totaled R$ 1.9 million.