The initiative was developed by the Ethos Institute, a public interest organisation of civil society (OSCIP), to raise awareness and help companies take a responsible attitude to the way they manage businesses.
The pact, which has been signed by 700 Brazilian companies, aims to inform employees and stakeholders in Brazil of relevant anti-corruption laws and to comply in full with all other business-related legislation.
JBS will implement a range of actions, including training courses and widespread disclosure of its policies. The Brazilian meat packer will also be able to liaise with the organisation and its members, by sharing experiences on public policies and best practices addressing social responsibility and become a leading proponent of the issues involved.
The move was pioneered by Marcelo Proença, head of JBS’ compliance department, in order to become a global benchmark in corporate governance and to comply with its ‘Always Do The Right Thing’ compliance program.
JBS has been aiming to rectify its position in the global meat market following the corruption scandal that impacted the business significantly during 2017.
The business was part of one the biggest political scandals in Brazilian history last year, after brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, owners of JBS at the time, were charged with insider trading by prosecutors, who alleged the duo pocketed over US$30 million.
Brazilian prosecutors claimed the brothers had manipulated the stock market via JBS shares in Brazilian real and buying American dollars days before their plea bargain went public. They allegedly knew the value of JBS shares would fall, thus using insider knowledge to profit on the change in currency value, earning R$100m (US$31.5m).
Following the corruption scandal, the business has had to fork out significant fines and has lost trust within the international meat industry.