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Brazil - JBS takes steps to rebuild its reputation
2018/1/23 13:37:53 Source: APLF Author: 点击率:

A new head of compliance appointed in June 2017 by packer and tanning group JBS, Dr Marcelo Proença, has made an important impact in his first six months in the role, senior representatives of the company have told Leatherbiz.

Dr Proença’s appointment came in the wake of a series of business and political scandals that affected JBS last year, leading to the imprisonment of executives at the very top of the organisation.

During a conversation in São Paulo on January 19, the JBS compliance team’s Ricardo Bocutti said appointing Dr Proença, a prominent lawyer and academic, has helped put compliance at the centre of JBS’s ongoing production of meat and leather. “A year ago I was on my own,” he said. “Now there are nine of us and we are hiring; the team will have 15 people before the end of 2018.”

Changes to have come about since last year’s events include a new ethics committee that will begin to meet in March to discuss issues that could lead to new threats to JBS’s reputation and a new whistleblower service, run by a third party, to make it easier for employees to report internal cases of alleged corruption, bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment, and so on.

Mr Bocutti also said JBS has worked with consultancy Deloitte to try to identify corruption risks that it may expose itself to in its interactions it has with customers and suppliers. Deloitte is developing a new tool specific to JBS, he explained.

One of the biggest scandals to hit JBS in 2017 centred on a plea-bargain agreement that executives entered into with the federal public prosecutor’s office, saying they would reveal all they know about a wider scandal affecting Brazilian politics and business, Operação Lava Jato (‘Operation Car Wash’). Ricardo Bocutti said that, after studying the details of the plea-bargaining agreement, JBS has cut its ties with more than 160 companies revealed to have been involved in the scandal.

He said these suppliers will be able to earn a second chance in future if they are able to demonstrate that they are corruption-free. He pointed out that JBS, too, is having to earn second chances of its own with some major customers, including global consumer products and fast-food companies, by submitting data to show it is acting in compliance with the required standards now.

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