Brazilian scandal hits Moy Park finance rating

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Dungannon’s largest employer, Moy Park, has moved to distance itself from ongoing investigations into its parent company in Brazil.

The company, which employs 8,500 people, told the Tyrone Times that it did not source products ‘from any of the sites involved in the ongoing investigations in Brazil.’

“We have in place robust food safety and quality assurance procedures for all of our raw materials, irrespective of source”, added the spokesperson.

However, Standards & Poor (S&P) has downgraded the credit rating of the poultry producer because of its parent company’s links to the South American scandal.

The rating agency said the action followed similar concerns about Moy Park’s owner JBS, which is one of several companies accused of bribing health officials in Brazil to forgo inspections and overlook practices including processing rotten meat.

“The main reasons cited for this downgrade included severe governance deficiencies in light of the recent corruption scandals and the possible additional contingency liabilities that could arise from ongoing investigations by the US department of justice, the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Brazilian Federal Revenue Office,” S&P said. The agency also noted JBS had significant short-term debt.

Janet McCollum, Moy Park Chief Executive said: “Moy Park is a successful and growing food business with a solid financial standing. I have no doubt that our success is due to the great strengths of this business – our exceptional people, innovation and performance. I also know that this will ensure our continued growth and stability well into the future.

“Our priority remains business as usual – delivering outstanding quality, innovation and service to our customers and consumers.”