Pilgrim’s Pride Is Polluting The Suwannee River


polluted river keep out In: Pilgrim's Pride Is Polluting The Suwannee River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida


environment america In: Pilgrim's Pride Is Polluting The Suwannee River | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. (OSFR) | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida

News Release


John Rumpler,

Environment America

Pilgrim’s Pride Rejects Groups’ call to curb pollution

For Immediate Release

Today, Pilgrim’s Pride – second-largest chicken producer in the world – rejected a shareholder resolution (Proposal 6) calling on the company to curb water pollution from its operations and supply chain.  The company’s refusal to clean up comes even as it faces a citizens’ suit from Environment America and the local Sierra Club chapter for dumping toxic wastewater into Florida’s Suwannee River.  In response, Environment America’s clean water program director John Rumpler issued the following statement:

Instead of cleaning its coop, today Pilgrim’s has decided to chicken out on its responsibility to stop fouling America’s waterways.

Pilgrim’s Pride operations and supply chain, which processes roughly 37 million birds per week, is responsible for significant water pollution in several states, including Texas, Florida, and Virginia. In addition to millions of pounds of manure and runoff from feed production, the company’s own processing plants dump pollution directly into our rivers and streams.  In 2014 alone, Pilgrim’s Pride facilities dumped more than half a million pounds of toxic pollutants into U.S. waterways, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxic Release Inventory.

In Florida alone, the company has been dumping pollution into the Suwannee River from its poultry processing plant in Live Oak, Florida.  As alleged in our citizens’ suit under the Clean Water Act, this one facility has committed 1,377 days of Clean Water Act violations since 2012, all from discharging wastewater into the river that exceeds pollution standards by as much as triple the legal limits.

One of the world’s largest meat companies dumping pollution into our rivers, and now they have officially rejected a request by investors to adopt even a bare-bones plan to address this problem.  It’s hard to see how can Pilgrim’s take pride in that.

Pilgrim’s Pride is owned by the Brazil-based meat conglomerate JBS, which controls a majority of shares voted today on Proposal 6.  The water pollution footprint of Pilgrims Pride and JBS combined included more than 45 million tons of manure (in 2015)  and 37 million pounds of toxic discharges to waterways (from 2010-2014).


    1. I would say somebody made some money in GOVERNMENT from pilgrim not so proud. Usually when it is proven with a photo of a pipe dumping pollutants into a river it is investigated and arrest are made but if you have BILLIONS to give away laws do not matter.
      Trust has been lost in all GOVERNMENT local all the way to white house. SOOO will any politician get my support in ANY way? NO!! I need to ask what does teddy YOYO do? once elected he got lost like all of them. collect a pay check and hide they are all the same.

  1. MIKE! I guess you didn’t see the TV 20 news last year the storieS about the Fort White fiasco the closest address is across the Brier patch road and at the corner of Brier patch and Wilson Springs Road Fort White Floriduh 32038. The 5 little proposed back yard chicken coups proposed, call and allowed by the Columbia County commissioners to actually build turned out to be a COMMERCIAL operation of TWELVE 500 foot long by 40 feet wide loud filthy chicken fertilizer production. Backed by pilgrim pride. Who boasted at the meeting we are a 6 billion dollar operation in six states (with a smirk as much to say you little people don’t stand a chance) and I guess some how it can’t be proved but some people made a lot of money here in Columbia rip off county.
    YES more digging into the cash flow needs more investigation.
    Also the county five needs to be voted OUT! If there are any honest people in the county to run. Good county to be from…….. A long way from

  2. It appears the original owners, the little Korean Couple, who made application for a “FAMILY FARM” with Columbia County’s Planning Department, have moved out and off site??? Here we have a facility, located over OUR Florida Aquifer, and only 1 1/2 miles from the Santa Fe River, operating without owner’s supervision?? Who can the residents of Columbia County hold responsible for the pollution of OUR ground water? Yesterday, the county roads leading into this site was littered with dead chicken bodies and chicken manure? Who is responsible, who do the public call?? Here we have an operating restaurant with a crushed dead chicken in it’s entrance, and chicken poop all over the road?? Do you feel safe, allowing this operation to continue to operate without supervision with OUR Rivers and Springs at risk?

    1. Hello Mr. Trowbridge,

      I am a longtime Gainesvillain gathering data and information on JBS/Pilgrim’s Pride in Columbia County and other CAFOs around the state of FL for my dissertation research at UF. Can you specify where the operation is located? I have come across many articles and sources that reference the operation, but locating the farm via the property appraiser’s website is problematic because the property owners are not JBS/PP. I hope to work with other researchers at UF to amplify awareness about FL springs/water degradation. If you do not feel comfortable contacting me through a public forum, fee free to email me at [email protected] ,



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