Huon Aqua
Salmon farmers
Huon, like its main competitor Tassal, operate salmon farms in the estuary at the mouth of the Huon River in Tasmania. Huon produces over 15,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon and Ocean trout per year. Acquired by Brazilian meat giant, JBS, in 2021.

Overall

Owned BRA
Rating F
About the Ratings

Company Ownership

Huon Aquaculture Group Pty Ltd
AUS
JBS Australia Pty Ltd
owns 100% of Huon Aquaculture Group Pty Ltd
AUS
Meat processor
Australia's largest beef and lamb processing company, operating ten processing plants and five feedlots. Owned by Brazil's JBS, the world's biggest beef processor and exporter. Bought Australia Meat Holdings in 2007, Tasman Group in 2008, Rockdale beef and Tatiara Meat in 2010, Andrews Meat and Primo in 2014, and Rivalea and Huon Aquaculture in 2021.
JBS USA Holdings Inc
owns 100% of JBS Australia Pty Ltd
USA
Meat processor
Previously known as Swift & Company. Bought by Brazil's JBS in 2007, creating the world's #1 beef processor and exporter.
JBS SA
owns 100% of JBS USA Holdings Inc
BRA
Meat processor
Founded in Brasil in 1953, today they are the world's largest meat processing company with interests around the world in beef, lamb, pork and chicken meat production. The company operates 150 industrial plants around the world in countries including Brazil, Argentina, USA and Australia, the world's four leading beef producing nations. 40% owned by the founding Batista family.
J&F Investimentos SA
owns 40% of JBS SA
BRA
Investment company
Owned by one of Brazil's richest families, the Batistas, who control JBS, the largest meatpacker in the world, plus investments in industrial, media and banking businesses.

Company Assessment

Huon Aquaculture Group Pty Ltd
Criticism
Booker Prize-winning author Richard Flanagan's 2021 book "Toxic: The Rotting Underbelly of the Tasmanian Salmon Industry" produces a range of allegations against the Tasmanian salmon sector - relating to feed ingredients, pollution and political skullduggery. These include the use of poultry by-products in feed, as well as the addition of ethoxyquin, which he says is potentially carcinogenic, to stabilise the feed.
Huon Aqua operate salmon farms in Tasmania. GoodFish, Australia's Sustainable Seafood Guide recommends you 'say no' to farmed Atlantic salmon (Red rating). It's website states: produced in sea cages; carnivorous species that is dependent on wild caught fish that is manufactured into fish feed. While the amount of wild caught fish in feed has been reduced over recent years, the amount of wild-caught fish used in feed is currently more than the weight of salmon produced; localised impacts from salmon farming effluent are minor and short-lived; impacts of the industry on a broader ecological scale are less well understood; producers have reduced the use of antibiotics.
Huon Aquaculture accounted for the deaths of over 75% of seals killed at Tasmanian salmon farms since the start of 2021, with data showing the company released more than 8,000 underwater explosives aimed at scaring the seals. While salmon companies Tassal and Petuna slashed their use of explosive devices by more than 75%, Huon increased its use by more than 10%.
Information
Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. Each year, APCO Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and Action Plan, which includes an overall performance level from 1 (Getting Started) to 5 (Beyond Best Practice). This company received a packaging performance level of 2 (Good Progress) in its 2024 APCO Annual Report.
Source: APCO (2024)
Currently around 98% of Huon Salmon is raised to the RSPCA's animal welfare standards. Salmon on RSPCA Approved farms have a well-managed environment with clean, oxygen-rich water with plenty of space for swimming, protection from predators and handling in a low-stress manner.
This company is a member of the Global Salmon Initiative, global leadership initiative founded and lead by salmon producers dedicated to determining the best measures by which their sector can grow sustainably.
Source: GSI (2014)
This company has sustainability claims on its website including efforts in the areas of fish welfare, wildlife management and minimising the impact on the local marine environment.
Transcript from the ABC's 7:30 Report (2009). Issues raised include use of antibiotics, damage to marine environment, use of 4kg of wild fish to produce 1kg of farmed salmon, being called the "battery hens of the sea". Please note however that reliance of wild caught fish has reduced in recent years, and in 2014 Huon claimed it uses 1.69kg of wild/forage fish to produce 1kg of farmed salmon.
Source: ABC (2009)
The Farm Transparency Project Repository is a public repository/gallery for videos, photos, documents and campaign materials relating to the animal rights movement in Australia. Follow the link to see their profile on this company.
According to data released by the Australian Tax Office in Jan 2022, this company was one of many local and foreign-based companies that paid no tax in Australia in 2019-20. Please note however that companies pay income tax on profits, not revenue (total income). While some companies use tax havens and loopholes to avoid paying their fair share of tax in Australia, other companies that paid no tax have perfectly legitimate reasons.
Source: ATO (2022)
JBS Australia Pty Ltd
Criticism
Greenpeace Australia's 2024 Deforestation Scorecard assessed how 10 of Australia's major beef buyers and producers stack up in terms of becoming deforestation-free by 2025. Australia has one of the worst rates of deforestation in the world, driven largely by the bulldozing of forests for beef cattle grazing. JBS scored 2.5/10. "JBS has a very weak commitment for a company that processes more beef than any other, with an implementation deadline of 2035. While JBS discusses how cattle are traced, it's unclear if it is using this system to address deforestation and conversion in its supply chain."
This company operates six feedlots. A feedlot is an intensive confinement animal feeding operation (CAFO) for cattle, much like a factory for 'battery chickens'. Each animal has 5 to 10 square metres of space in a pen of 50 to 200 cattle. The cattle are forced to stand and sleep in their own dung and urine, and endure extremes of weather (especially heat). Close confinement means a much higher risk of disease so antibiotic drugs are routinely used. Grain feed commonly causes their digestive systems to be acidic. Cattle spend up to a year in feedlots, where they are fattened up before slaughter.
Information
A 2022 Four Corners report revealed that JBS's early expansion in Australia and the US was only made possible by bribing Brazilian politicians, for which JBS's parent company paid a $3.2 billion penalty in 2017. The report also outlines further scandals including insider trading, sourcing cattle from illegally deforested land in Brazil, price fixing, and tax avoidance in Australia.
The Farm Transparency Project Repository is a public repository/gallery for videos, photos, documents and campaign materials relating to the animal rights movement in Australia. Follow the link to see their profile on this company.
JBS USA Holdings Inc
Criticism
In 2021 this company agreed to pay US$20 million to settle a consumer class-action lawsuit alleging the company conspired to fix prices for pork. The settlement states that JBS will pay the money into a settlement fund that will be used to compensate the consumer class and cover litigation fees and expenses.
In 2023 this company agreed to pay US$25 million to commercial beef purchasers that accused the meat-packing company of conspiring with industry rivals to restrict market supply in order to keep prices artificially high. This follows a similar settlement in 2022 where JBS paid US$52.5 million to grocers and other plaintiffs that make up the "direct" beef purchaser class.
Information
In June 2011 Swift USA agreed to pay US$1.3 million to Nebraska and the United States for damaging natural resources in violation of EPA regulations. Swift Beef Company's alleged violations of the Clean Water Act took place at its Grand Island plant in Nebraska between 2006 and 2011. Swift discharged more wastewater than it was allowed, causing the death of 10,000 fish in the Wood and Platte Rivers and interfering with the city's water treatment process. Regulators also accused Swift of poor record keeping.
JBS SA
Praise
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change risk. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Climate Change score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts towards removing commodity-driven deforestation and forest degradation from its direct operations and supply chains. Responding companies are scored across four key areas: disclosure; awareness; management; and leadership. This company received a CDP Forests score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
In 2023, the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) asked companies to provide data about their efforts to manage and govern freshwater resources. Responding companies are scored on six key metrics: transparency; governance & strategy; measuring & monitoring; risk assessment; targets & goals; and value chain engagement. This company received a CDP Water Security score of B.
Source: CDP (2023)
The 2021 Business Benchmark on Farm Animal Welfare (BBFAW) report ranks global food companies on how they are managing and reporting their farm animal welfare policies and practices. This company appeared in tier 3, "Established but work to be done", with tier 1 being the best, and tier 6 the worst.
Criticism
Amazon Watch's 2020 report, Complicity in Destruction III, reveals how a network of leading international financial institutions is linked to conflicts on indigenous lands, illegal deforestation, land grabbing, the weakening of environmental protections, and the production and export of conflict commodities. The report found that this agribusiness company has been directly or indirectly involved in conflicts affecting Indigenous peoples and their territories.
According to a 2020 report by Amnesty International, cattle illegally grazed in protected areas of Brazil's Amazon rainforest have entered this company's supply chain. JBS contributes to human rights abuses against Indigenous peoples and residents of Reserves by participating in the economic incentives for cattle illegally grazed in protected areas. JBS has been aware of these risks since 2009, but has failed to implement an effective monitoring system for its supply chain.
In 2023 KnowTheChain benchmarked 60 food and beverage companies on their efforts to identify and tackle forced labour risks in their supply chains. This company received a score of 4/100. The average score was a disappointing 16/100 and the highest score was 56/100.
Forest 500 identifies the 350 companies and 150 financial institutions with the greatest exposure to tropical deforestation risk, and annually assesses them on the strength and implementation of their deforestation and human rights commitments. This company received a score of 31.1%.
'The Big Con' is a 2021 report by Corporate Accountability, Friends of the Earth and others that makes clear that Big Polluters' idea of "net zero" is part of their continued plan to protect deeply unjust global systems, distract from taking the real action needed, and to evade responsibility for the climate crisis and to continue to pollute. This company was named in the report as one whose "net zero" climate commitments are anything but real action.
The livestock sector is the single largest contributor to man-made methane emissions. Even though rapid reductions of methane emissions are needed to slow the rate of global warming, the largest meat and dairy corporations are oblivious to the problem. Changing Markets' 2021 report 'Blindspot' investigated the policies and actions of 20 meat and dairy giants to reduce their methane emissions. This company scored 9.6/100 for their methane policy and actions.
As You Sow's 2024 Plastic Promises Scorecard measures the corporate ambition and action of 225 large companies across six industries on six core pillars of plastic packaging pollution prevention: 1) Recyclability, 2) Reduction, 3) Recycled Content, 4) Recovery, 5) Reuse, and 6) Producer Responsibility. This company received a grade of D-.
In their 2019 report 'Feeding Ourselves Thirsty', Ceres looks at how food sector companies are responding to water risks. 40 companies were assessed on a 0-100 point basis across four categories of water management: governance and management, direct operations, manufacturing supply chain and agricultural supply chain. This company received a score of 22.
In 2021 was fined US$3.6 million by a local Brazilian court in respect to damages related to employees following a Covid-19 outbreak at a beef processing facility.
The 2024 Social Benchmark assesses the world's 2,000 most influential companies on their responsibility in meeting society's fundamental expectations towards three measurement areas: respecting human rights, providing decent work, and acting ethically. This company was assessed in 2023 and received a score of 5.5/20. The average score was an alarmingly low 4.6/20 and the highest score was 15.5/20.
This company received an S&P Global ESG Score of 21/100 in the Food Products category of the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment, an annual evaluation of companies' sustainability practices (last updated 7 Feb 2021). The rankings are based on an analysis of corporate economic, environmental and social performance, assessing issues such as corporate governance, risk management, environmental reporting, climate strategy, human rights and labour practices.
This company is 40% owned by J&F Investimentos, which has criticisms and an overall Shop Ethical rating of 'F'
The 2023 Food and Agriculture Benchmark assessed 350 keystone companies across the entirety of the food system, from farm to fork. It covers three dimensions where transformation is needed: nutrition, environment and social inclusion. This company ranked #174/350, with a total score of 16.2/100.
Information
Brazilian prosecutors have brought a civil lawsuit against this company, alleging that over the last four years, JBS purchased cattle from land in the Amazon that was illegally deforested and from farms linked to slavery. However, JBS has insisted that all cattle purchased from Acre comply with its commitment to the mandates of the Brazilian Environmental Agency and the Ministry of Labour.
Despite making commitments in Oct 2009 to no longer purchase cattle from ranches that have recently deforested or that are located on indigenous lands in the Amazon, this 2011 Greenpeace report reveals that JBS purchased cattle from properties connected to deforestation, slave labour and invasion of indigenous land in the Brazilian Amazon in early 2011, in contravention of their agreement. [Listed under Information due to age of report]
This company received a score of 14.8/100 in the Newsweek Green Ranking 2017, which ranks the world's largest publicly traded companies on eight indicators covering energy, greenhouse gases, water, waste, fines and penalties, linking executive pay to sustainability targets, board-level committee oversight of environmental issues and third-party audits. Ranking methodology by Corporate Knights and HIP Investor.
As listed on the We Mean Business website, this company has committed to the following climate action initiatives: adopt a science-based emissions reduction target.
This company is a member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB), who's stated mission is to advance continuous improvement in sustainability of the global beef value chain through leadership, science and multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. However the GSRB has been criticised by a group of NGOs for its failure to address misuse of antibiotics and animal welfare concerns, among other things (http://bit.ly/1xWw5pV).
Source: GRSB (2017)
This company is a member of the Leather Working Group, a multi-stakeholder group who's objective is to develop and maintain a protocol that assesses the compliance and environmental performance of tanners and promotes sustainable and appropriate environmental business practices within the leather industry.
As a result of the Greenpeace report 'Slaughtering the Amazon', JBS committed to no longer buying cattle raised in areas of the Amazon that were deforested after Sept. 23, 2009. They also announced that they will remove from its suppliers' lists any farms in the region involved with slave labor or caught raising cattle on Indigenous Lands or Protected Areas.
OpenSecrets.org tracks the influence of money on U.S. politics, and how that money affects policy and citizens' lives. Follow link to see this company's record of political donations, lobbying, outside spending and more.
The Coller FAIRR Protein Producer Index is a comprehensive assessment of how this sector is managing critical sustainability risks factors: GHGs; deforestation and biodiversity; water scarcity; water pollution; antibiotics; animal welfare; working conditions; food safety. This company was rated as medium risk.

Company Details

Type:
Family-owned private company
Founded:
1986
Employees:
700 (2020)

Contact Details

Address:
Dover, TAS, Australia
Phone:
03 6295 8111
Website:
www.huonaqua.com.au

Products / Brands

Huon Aqua