GREELEY, Colo., Dec. 5, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — JBS USA, a leading animal protein processor in the U.S. and Australia, manager of the XL Foods facility in Brooks, Alta., Canada, and a wholly owned subsidiary of Brazil-based JBS S.A., today announced William Van Solkema as president of JBS Canada, effective immediately.
Van Solkema, the former president of sales and operation for XL Foods, Inc. from 2004 to 2009, most recently served as a consultant for XL Fine Foods, the company’s value-added processing business. Van Solkema enjoys vast knowledge of the Canadian beef industry stemming from his years of service in Canada including senior management positions at the Cargill High River plant in Alberta and the Canada Packers plants in Winnipeg and Calgary.
“Willie brings more than 30 years of experience and direct knowledge of the Canadian beef business to JBS Canada,” stated Bill Rupp, president and COO, JBS USA beef business unit. “I personally worked alongside Willie at the High River plant and have complete confidence in his ability to manage our operations at the Brooks facility in Alberta. He will prove to be an invaluable asset as we normalize operations at Brooks for both domestic and international markets and continue to explore our exclusive option to purchase additional XL properties in Canada and the U.S.”
In addition to his corporate experience, Van Solkema has been an active participant in industry associations dedicated to the advancement of the Canadian beef industry. His service includes board-of-director positions at the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association Market Development Council, the Canadian Cattle Identification Agency, the Canada Beef Export Federation, and the Canadian Meat Council, serving as the council’s president in 2004.
In October 2012, JBS USA announced an agreement with XL Foods to manage the XL Lakeside facility in Brooks, Alta., and an exclusive option to purchase XL properties including the Lakeside beef packing plant; a beef packing plant in Calgary, Alta.; a feedlot in Brooks, Alta., and the adjacent farmland acreage; a beef packing plant in Omaha, Neb.; and a beef packing plant in Nampa, Idaho. JBS USA continues to evaluate the opportunity to exercise the exclusive option.
JBS USA, an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of JBS S.A., is a leading processor of beef, pork and lamb in the U.S. and a leading processor of beef in Australia. JBS USA processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, further-processed and value-added beef and pork products for sale to customers in more than 60 countries on five continents.JBS USA is also a majority shareholder of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation, the second largest poultry company in the U.S.
In the United States, Mexico and Puerto Rico, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride conduct operations through eight beef processing plants, three pork processing plants, 31 poultry processing plants, 31 poultry hatcheries, one lamb processing plant, one hide tannery, and 11 feedlot operations run by JBS Five Rivers Cattle Feeding. In Australia the company operates 15 beef and small-animal processing plants, seven feedlots, one hide tannery and seven distribution centers.
JBS S.A. is the global leader in meat production with 301 facilities worldwide and more than 135,000 employees. JBS S.A. processes beef, pork, lamb and poultry in addition to leather and other animal by-products. JBS S.A. processes, prepares, packages and delivers fresh, further-processed and value-added beef, pork, lamb and poultry products in more than 150 countries on five continents.
In South America, JBS S.A. conducts its operations through 108 beef processing, canning, distribution and other facilities, including 37 processing plants in Brazil, five processing plants in Argentina, two processing plants in Paraguay, one processing plant in Uruguay, and 11 distribution centers and five feedlots in Brazil.