Can JBS remain the world’s biggest food producer?

Just over five years ago jbs and its then chief executive, Joesley Batista, embodied everything that was wrong with Brazilian business. Mr Batista, son of the meat giant’s eponymous founder, José Batista Sobrinho, was fleeing Brazilian prosecutors, his Italian-made yacht Why Not? in tow, over his role in a gargantuan bribery scandal. (He was eventually caught.) jbs was fending off accusations of selling dodgy meat and razing the Amazon to raise cattle (both of which it denies). Investors and customers stampeded out.

“It took a lot of work to make sure what happened in the past didn’t happen again,” says Gilberto Tomazoni, who became the first non-Batista ceo in 2018. His efforts to rebuild jbs’s image—and investors’ trust—are paying off. On his watch its market value has nearly doubled, to $14bn. Last year it sold $67bn-worth of packaged food, more than any rival (see chart). On August 11th it reported revenues of 92bn reais ($19bn) in the second quarter, up by…

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