U.S. HAS ENOUGH MEAT, BUT WORKERS PROCESSING THEM ARE AT HOME
The U.S. has more meat to feed its population but not enough workers in processing plants to cut them up and process them for consumers, all because of the COVID-19 pandemic, with at least 18 deaths and 4,585 cases linked to Tyson Foods alone providing enough reason for workers to stay home.
Battered by this development, Tyson Foods, which produces about 20% of beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., said it would lower beef prices to help consumers struggling with the rising price of meat during the pandemic, according to CNN.
With big meat processors like the Brazilian-controlled JBS and the Chinese-owned Smithfield shuttered, hog farmers have culled more than 1.5 million pigs, raising hackles in Washington about the capability of the U.S. government to support a key sector of the economy, said Saloni Sardana for Market Insider on May 17. 2020, but industry players said “we have the meat” but not the workers to process it.
Gary Mickelson, the company's senior director of public relations, added: "We're doing this because we want to help keep beef on family tables across our nation, especially as our beef plants return from reduced levels of production." The issue, the analysts said, isn't a lack of supply, but rather a problem with how to get that supply to stores. Adam Kantrovich, associate professor at Clemson College of Agribusiness said: "If you were to look at the beginning of the supply chain, at the farm level, "we have the meat. It is just unable to be processed at the same levels it was at the beginning of the year," #coronavirusimpact #COVID19