Are We About To See A MEAT Shortage As A Result Of COVID-19?

Written by Wes Walker on April 15, 2020

Say it ain’t so! It’s not bad enough that we’re stuck at home, but we might have to go VEGAN, too?

Will the forced compliance still hold if it comes to that?

One of the unintended consequences of this virus is what it’s doing to meat processing plants.

As some food workers across the U.S. are becoming infected by the coronavirus, some plants that process beef, pork and poultry are shutting down — raising the specter of meat shortages.

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With the plant closures, the worry is that consumers will be impacted by shortages and higher prices. In recent weeks, consumers also faced grocers putting buying limits on beef and chicken because of stockpiling.

At Holiday Market, Tom Violantesaid some suppliers have started limiting quantities of pork and beef.

Price increases, Violante fears, will be coming soon.

“At this time, there is more problem with supply and not price,” Violante said. “When the supply chain runs through its current load of beef and pork the supply will be limited and the price increase will follow.”

Stores that use smaller processors said they are not experiencing a shortage as of yet. — Detroit Free Press

As people at these plants get sick, the plants are closing down.

And many of these plants were already short-staffed, either because of worker shortages that came from what was until recently a super-charged economy combined with absenteeism due either to employees falling ill or those with young children at home without child-care options.

The South Dakota plant represents about 5% of the pork production in the U.S., supplying nearly 130 million servings of food per week, according to a news release. Employing more than 3,700 people, the plant uses has more than 550 independent family farmers that supply pork to the plant. Smithfield is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WH Group of China.

The facility will close until further notice, though Smithfield, according to the news release, will process the current product in inventory.

“It is impossible to keep our grocery stores stocked if our plants are not running,” Sullivan said. “These facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain, first and foremost our nation’s livestock farmers. These farmers have nowhere to send their animals.”

Smithfield said it will resume operating with “further direction of local, state and federal officials. ” While no reopening date was given, Smithfield said its employees will be paid for the next two weeks.

Chicken does not appear to be impacted, though several stores are limiting quantities customers can buy. — Detroit Free Press

Yes, you read that correctly — wholly-owned subsidiary of China.

All these stay-at-home orders are having trickle-down effects that are entirely unanticipated. Including the fact that even ‘necessary’ workers are unwilling to neglect their own kids just to show up at work.