JBS pulls plug on Planterra Foods US plant-based meat operation

The move was first reported by the Denver Business Journal​ on Saturday, a day after the company filed a notice of its plans with the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.

‘We continue to believe in the potential of plant-based options for consumers’

JBS – which has a plant-based business in Brazil and acquired plant-based meat company Vivera (with a presence in the Netherlands, Germany and the UK) last year​ – did not provide further details but said in a statement to FoodNavigator-USA that it had “made the decision to discontinue operations in its US-based Planterra business unit.”

Head of communications Nikki Richardson told us: “We continue to believe in the potential of plant-based options for consumers and remain committed to the alternative protein market. JBS will focus its efforts on its plant-based operations in Brazil and Europe, which continue to gain market share and expand their respective customer bases.

“We are actively working with the Planterra workforce to provide employment opportunities at other JBS locations.”

‘It had to be independent’

While all of the major meat players from Cargill, Tyson, Smithfield and Maple Leaf Foods, have made moves into the plant-based meat category in recent years, JBS went all-in with Planterra Foods, a standalone operation run at arm’s length from JBS​ by Darcey Macken, who had previously worked in senior management roles at Kellogg and Noosa Yoghurt, in October 2019.

Speaking to FoodNavigator-USA in early 2020, she said: “You see time and time again that companies try to establish new brands and they get compared to different P&Ls and not run properly, so it had to be independent, but rely on JBS from a support standpoint, so shared services on the back end, SAP, and utilizing procurement from a supplier relationship standpoint.”

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