Brazilian meat giant JBS said it plans to create 7,000 new jobs in its domestic market this year.

JBS, already the country’s largest employer with a 155,000-strong local workforce, said the new positions will be in areas ranging from administration to industrial and will be in all parts of the country.

The Sao Paulo-based company, one of the world’s largest food producers working across a number of meat types and in plant-based meat alternatives, has more than 5,000 job opportunities open, including new vacancies and replacement positions.

Of the 7,000 new jobs, 1,500 will be created at the two plants inaugurated by JBS in October 2023 in the city of Rolândia.

Further west in Dourados in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, the company plans to add 1,000 new jobs

JBS, meanwhile, said a doubling of production at a site in Campo Grande, also in Mato Grosso do Sul, will result in the creation of 2,300 jobs.

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Last month, JBS revealed it is to invest 150m reais ($28.3m) to double processing capacity at the Campo Grande II beef plant after receiving Chinese export approval for the facility.

The increase will enable the site to process 4,400 animals daily within a year from the current 2,200, while the number of employees will increase from 2,300 to 4,600. This number is part of the 7,000 newly-announced jobs.

According to JBS, the move will make the facility the largest beef plant in Latin America and one of the top three for JBS worldwide.

Elsewhere in Mato Grosso, the expansion of the Diamantino unit will generate 1,600 new jobs.

JBS, which owns brands including Friboi, Seara, Pilgrim’s Pride and Moy Park, has 270,000 employees worldwide in countries including the US, the UK, Australia and China.

According to recent data from Brazil’s Fipe (Foundation Institute for Economic Research), the production networks linked to JBS move 2.1% of the country’s gross domestic product.

Last week, the sons of the company’s founder were voted onto the board at JBS’ annual meeting.

The election of scandal-hit Wesley and Joesley Batista to the board has been criticised by advocacy group Ban the Batistas.

The pair, who previously held high-level leadership positions at the company founded by their father José Batista Sobrinho, were voted onto the board at JBS’ annual meeting on Friday (26 April).

Joesley, previously the JBS chairman, and Wesley, its former CEO, are controversial figures.

Back in 2017, prosecutors charged them with using inside information to profit from market movements in the company’s shares. Both stepped down from their executive roles but they were acquitted of insider trading charges in 2023.