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JBS, WH Group sign supply, distribution agreement

Deal could reach approximately $712 million in business per year.

Brazilian meat company JBS S.A. announced Jan. 27 that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese meat and food processing company WH Group for the supply and distribution of fresh beef, poultry and pork to the Chinese market. JBS and WH Group will jointly offer a portfolio of Friboi and Seara branded products in a deal that could reach approximately $712 million (3 billion reals) in business per year.

"This agreement reflects the maturity and evolution of our trade relations with China," Friboi president Renato Costa said. "We have seen changes in the Chinese consumer profile regarding protein consumption and a growing concern for food quality, product traceability and enhanced food safety. To meet this demand, we have developed on-the-ground teams and dedicated partnerships and projects in China."

In addition to expanding JBS's products and brand presence in China with the focus on beef, the major objective of the agreement is to have direct access to consumers through more than 60,000 exclusive WH Group points of sale in the country.

"It will be an opportunity for us to evolve in our supply chain in an unprecedented business model for JBS," Costa added.

The first shipments of products under this agreement will start in the first quarter of this year.

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