Personally, being part of this story and helping to tell it at every possible chance, as in this sustainability report, is cause for joy.
These results reflect the accuracy of our strategy as a global food platform and the decision to continually invest in developing and producing a wide-ranging portfolio of products and brands while growing the share of value- added products.
These achievements and the entire evolution of JBS are sustained by deep roots that are translated into our Values. From the start, we’ve always acted according to Simplicity and Humility, while also using an Attitude of Ownership and applying a strong sense of Determination and Discipline to deal with challenges. When these attitudes are multiplied by our over 240,000 team members, this becomes a powerful competitive edge, with the certainty that major goals will be reached.
Among the multiple aspects at the core of our action and performance, two are particularly strengthened by this collective vision: sustainability and innovation.
In sustainability, we are extremely proud of our role in helping to feed billions of people around the world. To do this, we have undertaken a commitment to produce food with the least possible environmental impact and by efficiently using resources – this has not only helped to make JBS a benchmark in multiple respects, but also a leader in advancing practices in this sector.
Our sustainability activities work with three lines of action: a focus on what we can influence directly, leadership in transformative actions in our supply chain and the continued evolution of our activities.
Focused on the sustainability of our business, we have made significant investments in compliance, in developing systems and processes, and in reinforcing a culture of compliance, with the belief that each team member serves to multiply good practices. Our growth in this area is evident in the implementation of a due diligence system, developed by the Company in partnership with an international consulting firm to assess supplier reputation. In the last year, we have done over 9,000 analyses using this system, making partner contracts more reliable. Also worth highlighting is our team’s total involvement – over 45,000 training hours were spent on compliance practices in Brazil, with dozens of specific actions for leadership worldwide in 2019.
Innovation has been fundamental to our growth strategy and to improving margin. Management of a global innovation platform allows us to monitor trends and leverage innovations in every region where we operate. From our day-to-day operations to building a portfolio that serves the needs of customers and consumers around the world, we invest in sharing knowledge and accelerating adoption of best international practices.
When combined, all of these elements form the base of our operational excellence, which is, in turn, converted into results. Financially, these achievements are represented by net revenue of R$204.5 billion, EBITDA of R$19.9 billion and free cash flow of R$9.5 billion. Over the year, we brought our financial leverage in US dollars down to 2.13x.
The solidity of these numbers has provided us with the ability to make substantial investments in advancing our strategy – as is the case with Pilgrim’s acquisition of Tulip in Europe in the second semester of 2019 and Seara’s acquisition in Brazil of Marba and Bunge, established producers of mortadella and margarine, respectively.
The performance JBS has attained creates value across the value chain and in Company relationships: with team members, integrated producers, farmers and other suppliers, as well as with customers, consumers and the communities where JBS is found, in a business partnership offering opportunities for growth and development for everyone.
As a leader, we are especially pleased to see our team fulfilling our mission every day of producing food with passion, quality and humility, seeking to be better and better at what we do.
This message could end no other way but with thanks to all of those who have helped along the way, particularly our team members, producers and business partners. Successfully confronting the challenge of providing sustainable food solutions to millions of consumers around the world is only possible through the commitment and determination of these people.
Finally, on behalf of the JBS team, I would like to thank you for your interest in learning more about JBS and our perspectives for guaranteeing growing, sustainable and innovative production over the coming years.“
Enjoy your reading!
Gilberto Tomazoni – Global CEO