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Pork Exports Trend Lower in June but Remain on Record Pace; Another Tough Month for Beef Exports
June exports of U.S. pork fell below year-ago levels for the first time this year but exports remain on a record pace in 2020, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports were down sharply from a year ago in June, reflecting a lingering impact of a temporary slowdown in beef production combined with restrictions on foodservice and weakening economies in major import markets. June lamb exports trended higher, posting the second largest totals of 2020.
“We expected that the interruptions in red meat production would continue to weigh on June exports, but anticipated more of a rebound from the low May totals – particularly for...
Production Challenges, Economic Headwinds Slow Red Meat Exports in May
U.S. beef and pork exports trended lower in May, due in part to interruptions in slaughter and processing, according to data released by USDA and compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF). Beef exports dropped well below year-ago levels and recorded the lowest monthly volume in 10 years. Pork exports remained higher than a year ago but were the lowest since October 2019.
“As protective measures related to COVID-19 were being implemented, plant disruptions peaked in early May with a corresponding temporary slowdown in exports,” said USMEF President and CEO Dan Halstrom. “Unfortunately the impact was quite severe, especially on...
America’s Meatpacking Facilities Operating More than 95% of Capacity Compared to 2019
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today applauded the safe reopening of critical infrastructure meatpacking facilities across the United States. As of this morning, across the cattle, swine, and broiler sectors, processing facilities are operating more than 95% of their average capacity compared to this time last year. In fact, beef facilities are operating at 98%, pork facilities are operating at 95%, and poultry facilities are operating at 98% of their capacity compared to the same time last year.
America’s meatpacking facilities are safely resuming operations following President Trump’s Executive Order directing the facilities to implement the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines specifically created for...
ANALYSIS: Pork Butts See Significant Pressure After Memorial Day
Substantial pressure continues to be noted throughout the fresh pork complex with bone-in butts seeing considerable losses in just...
NAMI's Response to New York Times' "End of Meat" Op-Ed
Like many sectors of the economy, meat and poultry production has been challenged during the COVID crisis. This leads to the popular pundit sport of writing the industry’s eulogy. The most recent comes from vegetarian and author Jonathan Safran Foer here in the New York Times. Safran Foer says COVID-19 has shown that for Americans, the end of meat is here.
From the start of the pandemic, it was clear meat is essential to Americans. Consumers were flooding grocery stores and buying necessities. Meat was among the few key items, like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, which they bought immediately and in historically high quantities. Meat continues to experience...
The Trip Back to 'Normal' Slaughter Levels
Tuesday, May 26th, was a relative milestone for the hog industry as of late. The day’s kill was estimated at 405,000 head, the first time daily slaughter reached the 400,000 mark since April 17th. While this is a small victory, it is a victory nonetheless for an industry that has seen a precipitous drop in chain speeds due to COVID-19. The last time hog slaughter was near ‘normal’ was the week ended April 18th. Just two months ago, the industry achieved the largest daily hog slaughter on record at 500,879 head. As worker absenteeism and plant shutdowns disrupted chain speeds drastically during the last week of April, daily kill dropped to as low as 267,367 head, nearly 47% off its peak.
It has been a slow but steady climb back to ‘normal’ slaughter levels. The improvement in production capabilities during the latest five weeks has helped nudge last week’s kill to over 2 million head. Early indications for this Saturday’s slaughter are pushing...
Technomic: Supply Chain Issues Likely to Continue
As news of outbreaks within the food supply chain spread, restaurant operators started to grow wearier of their prospects. Concerns about commodity spikes and/or shortages are compounding the negative outlook operators already had because of the impact of shelter-in-place orders and consumer changes in behavior. Operators are taking extraordinary measures to ensure the health and safety of their staff and customers alike, as many recognize the failure to do so could lead to rebound in contagion rates, put their staff in danger and undermine their growth.
The good news is that curbside, drive-thru and limited takeout appear to be growing to levels that are allowing sustainable levels of sales to occur for...
Consumers Continue to Purchase Meat from Restaurants and Retail Despite Coronavirus Concerns
Fear of the unknown proved to be true when observing consumers’ reaction to the emergence of COVID-19. When the virus first made its way to the United States, panic ensued. Grocery store shelves were depleted, and necessities like toilet paper were nowhere to be found. Consumers have come accustomed to finding resourceful solutions and are willing to be more flexible than ever before.
However, the coronavirus has thrown yet another curveball, with many meatpacking plants either temporarily closing or reducing operations. While consumers have stocked up on meat, there seems to be less panic this time around.
When Datassential asked consumers what best describes the way they eat today, nearly 69% described themselves as...
NPPC Supports Livestock Provisions of Heroes Act
The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) expressed strong support for livestock agriculture provisions in the Heroes Act introduced by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations. These provisions include funding for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to provide:
The Consumer Perspective on the Potential Meat Shortage
As warnings of a potential meat shortage seem to dominate headlines, consumers may begin to panic buy and stockpile proteins in case supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 lead to empty meat cases at the grocery store. While retailers did see aisles that include toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products wiped out at the height of the pandemic, it is possible that consumers have already purchased meat products in bulk.
According to a recent survey conducted by Datassential, about 77% of consumers have at least one week's supply of meat on hand. This is followed by 26% having enough meat in the home to last about two to three weeks. Only 7% of respondents have run out of meat and will be purchasing more. Additionally, some shoppers purchased enough meat to last...
Jennie-O Turkey Store to Reopen Willmar Facility
Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc., announced that it has reopened its Benson Avenue facility, in Willmar, Minn., following a voluntary pause due to impact of COVID-19 in the area. The company restarted operations yesterday with a core group of team members and plans to ramp up production over the next few days.
Steve Lykken, president of Jennie-O Turkey Store said, “We remain committed to our industry-leading efforts to maintain and enhance safety protections for our team members and this community. We are glad to be reopening this facility and are working on our plans for reopening our other facilities including another location in Willmar and in Melrose, both in Minnesota. We have put the safety of our staff first throughout this pandemic and...
Smithfield Foods to Reopen Sioux Falls, South Dakota Facility
Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced that it will begin resuming operations in Sioux Falls, S.D. today after receiving positive confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that the company is in full compliance with all CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidance. The company will take a phased approach to resuming its operations. The harvest floor will reopen on May 11, 2020 and the company anticipates that the facility will be fully operational by late May.
Testing, which is being administered by the State of South Dakota, is available to all Smithfield employees prior to returning to work. To date, over 2,000 employees have been tested. More tests will be conducted in the coming weeks as...
Revisiting President Trump's Execuctive Order - What Has Changed?
Last Tuesday, President Trump signed an executive order urging the nation’s meat processing plants to remain online. As we revisit this order eight days later, the revolving door of plant openings and closures continues. At the start of this week, Tyson warned that it expects more plant closures to occur this year as the industry grapples with ongoing labor absenteeism due to COVID-19. On Monday, Tyson reported that its fiscal second-quarter net income fell 15% from the year prior (several of the company’s plants remain shuttered). Other packers including JBS, Smithfield, and Cargill are similarly affected by labor shortages. Hog processing capacity is being slashed to nearly half, while cattle processing capacity is running at about two-thirds of normal operating speeds. Last week’s estimated hog kill at...
Tyson Fresh Meats to Resume Waterloo, Iowa Operations
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc. announced it will resume limited production at its Waterloo, Iowa facility on Thursday, May 7. Team members have been invited to tour the facility Wednesday to view the enhanced safety precautions and protective social distancing measures installed throughout the plant.
The reopening of the facility follows a tour of the plant by Black Hawk County health officials, Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart, Black Hawk County Sheriff Tony Thompson, UFCW Local 431 President Bob Waters and other local business leaders and a subsequent joint company and...
Tyson Foods to Resume Operations in Pasco, Washington
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., will resume limited production at its Pasco, Washington, beef facility. The facility temporarily idled operations on April 23 to test its team members for COVID-19.
Team members were asked to self-isolate until their results returned. The company worked with local health officials to verify test results, which were communicated to team members. Team members who tested positive will only return to work once they have met the criteria outlined by the CDC for...
APHIS Establishing Coordination Center to Assist Producers Affected by Processing Plant Closures
American livestock and poultry producers are facing an unprecedented emergency due to COVID-19, particularly with the closing of meat processing plants in several states. USDA is leading the federal response by working in coordination with the Vice President’s Task Force, the CDC, OSHA, Department of Labor, industry, state and local governments, and others across the federal family to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 on producers.
We will continue to seek solutions to ensure the continuity of operations and return to production as quickly, safely and as health considerations...
Pilgrim’s Pride Reports Q1 2020 Results
Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation reports first quarter 2020 financial results.
First Quarter Highlights
JBS USA Announces Limited Reopening of Worthington Pork Facility to Assist Producers
JBS USA announced a limited reopening of the Worthington, Minn., pork production facility to provide producers with a humane euthanasia option for market hogs during the coronavirus pandemic. Recent U.S. pork plant closures and reduced production levels at pork processing facilities across the country have left American producers with few options for market-ready hogs. Humane depopulation and proper disposal is the unfortunate last resort for some producers.
“While our focus is on getting the Worthington facility back to work on behalf of our team members producing food for the nation, we believe we have a responsibility to step up when...
Tyson Fresh Meats Temporarily Pausing Production at Dakota City, Nebraska, Beef Plant
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., is currently winding down production and will temporarily pause operations Friday, May 1 through Monday, May 4 at its Dakota City, Neb., beef facility to complete a deep cleaning of the entire plant. The company has been working closely with the local health department and is also in the process of screening plant team members for COVID-19 this week, with assistance from the Nebraska National Guard.
The facility, one of the largest beef processing plant in the country, employs a workforce of 4,300 and normally produces enough beef in one day to feed 18 million people, however...
What President Trump's Executive Order Might Mean for Meat Processing Plants
Labor shortages due to the coronavirus are sharply reducing chain speeds at processing facilities across the nation. On Sunday, Tyson Foods published a full-page ad in several major newspapers (which is also available on their website) saying “the food supply chain is breaking,” while warning that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain." Shortly after the foreboding ad was released, President Trump took a drastic measure to combat a potential meat shortage that some industry leaders warn of.
On Tuesday, the President signed an executive order that urges meat-processing plants to remain open. Using the Defense Production Act, the order mandates the Secretary of Agriculture to...
Industry Reacts to President Trump’s Executive Order to Keep Meat Plants Operating
President Trump intends to sign an executive order to ensure meat processing plants remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. The executive order will call on the Defense Production Act recognizing the facilities as a part of the United States’ critical infrastructure. This comes as concerns rise that the food supply chain will be disrupted as the virus spreads.
Julie Anna Potts, President and CEO of the North American Meat Institute, said, “By keeping meat and poultry producers operating, the President's Executive Order will help avert hardship for agricultural producers and...
Is America Headed Towards a Meat Shortage?
Price gouging. Panic buying. Meat shortages. These phrases have dominated recent talk about the nation’s overall meat supply as a wave of plant closures and worker absenteeism rattle the supply chain and generate logistical hurdles. Increasingly, industry participants and consumers alike are uttering the unnerving question: Is America on the cusp of a nationwide meat shortage?
There are many factors at play when assessing the current supply and demand patterns in the midst of a pandemic. Notably, a second wave of panic buying, and the subsequent run-up in wholesale values, has recently...
JBS USA Announces Temporary Closure of Green Bay Beef Facility
JBS USA announced the temporary closure of its Green Bay, Wis., beef production facility. The facility employs more than 1,200 people and feeds nearly 3.2 million Americans every day. In partnership and consultation with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the Brown County Health and Human Services Department - Public Health Division, the company will advise its Green Bay team members to follow Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers’ ‘Safer at Home Order’ while the plant is closed.
Society collectively faces a global coronavirus pandemic that has spread throughout the world and every state in the United States. In Wisconsin, the virus has spread to 66 of 72 counties, including Brown County, home of the JBS Green Bay facility. JBS USA is striving to provide the safest working environment possible for...
Smithfield Foods to Temporarily Close Monmouth, IL Plant
Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced that it will proactively suspend operations at its Monmouth, IL facility beginning next week and until further notice after a small portion of its 1,700 employees tested positive for COVID-19. The Monmouth plant represents approximately three percent of U.S. fresh pork supplies and also produces bacon. Employees will be paid during the closure.
Smithfield noted that it has been proactively and aggressively tackling COVID-19 by implementing processes, protocols and protective measures throughout its operations and remains wholly committed to doing everything in its power to help protect its team members from COVID-19 in the workplace. At the same time, it stressed that...
Tyson Foods Pauses Production at Washington Beef Plant
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., will temporarily halt production at its Pasco, Washington, beef facility while team members undergo testing. Health officials in Walla Walla, Benton, and Franklin Counties will work with the company to test its more than 1,400 team members for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
The facility produces enough beef in one day to feed four million people. While the plant is temporarily closed for testing, team members will continue to be compensated and asked to self-isolate at home until results return.
“We’ve taken both of our responsibilities to continue feeding the nation and keeping...
ANALYSIS: Coping with Production Excesses
From the slowdown in foodservice and QSR buying outreach, to plant worker absenteeism and even some inclement weather being thrown into the mix, chicken processors have...
Tyson Foods to Indefinitely Suspend Waterloo Operations
Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., plans to indefinitely suspend operations at its Waterloo, Iowa, pork plant this week.
The facility, the company’s largest pork plant, has been running at reduced levels of production due to worker absenteeism, and will stop production mid-week until further notice. The facility’s 2,800 team members will be invited to come to the plant later this week for COVID-19 testing.
“Protecting our team members is our top priority and the reason we’ve implemented numerous safety measures during this challenging and unprecedented time,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats. “Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while...
Tyson Fresh Meats to Resume Limited Operations at Columbus Junction Pork Plant
Tyson Fresh Meats, Inc., the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, Inc., will resume limited operations at its pork plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, on Tuesday after being idle for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns.
“Our first priority is protecting our team members while they fulfill their critical mission of feeding families across the country during this challenging time,” said Tyson Foods President Dean Banks. “We plan to increase production at Columbus Junction gradually, with the safety of our team members top of mind.”
Tyson Foods formed a coronavirus task force in January and has implemented numerous measures to protect workers. It was one of the first food companies to start taking worker temperatures and...
Tyson Foods to Deep Clean Logansport Plant; Suspending Production on Monday
Tyson Foods, Inc. announced that its Logansport, Indiana, facility will cancel production for Monday for additional cleaning and sanitation efforts. The company is working hard to protect team members during this ever-changing situation, while also ensuring the company continues fulfilling its critical role of helping feed people in this community and across the country.
“While we understand the necessity of keeping our facilities operational so that we can continue to feed the nation, the safety of our people remains our top priority,” Jim Schmitz, Vice President of Pork Production Operations said. “Our plant production areas are sanitized daily to ensure food safety, and we have stepped up deep cleaning and sanitizing of our facilities, especially in...
JBS USA Announces Indefinite Closure of Worthington Pork Facility
JBS USA announced the indefinite closure of the Worthington, Minn., pork production facility. The facility employs more than 2,000 Nobles County team members and processes 20,000 hogs per day.
“We don’t make this decision lightly,” said Bob Krebs, President of JBS USA Pork. “We recognize JBS Worthington is critical to local hog producers, the U.S. food supply and the many businesses that support the facility each and every day.”
The Worthington pork facility will wind down operations over the next two days with a diminished staff to ensure existing product in the facility can be used to support the food supply. In partnership with the state of Minnesota and Nobles County, the company will...
ANALYSIS: Recent Plant Closures Creating Additional Uncertainty in the Value Chain
One of the first meat plants to announce its temporary closure due to the coronavirus was the JBS beef plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania on March 31st. Since then, additional beef, as well as...
JBS USA Announces Temporary Closure of Greeley Beef Facility
JBS USA announced the temporary closure of the Greeley beef production facility until April 24, 2020, and multiple additional efforts to support the fight against coronavirus in Weld County, Colo. As the largest employer in the county with more than 6,000 team members, the company is focusing its efforts to help combat the spread of coronavirus.
The Greeley beef facility will wind down operations over the next two days with a diminished staff to ensure existing product in the facility can be used to support food supply needs. In partnership with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Weld County Department of Public Health and Environment, the company will advise its Greeley beef team members to shelter in place in accordance with...
Olymel Plant in Yamachiche to Resume Operations
After having implemented all the public health recommendations of the public health department of the Mauricie and Centre-du-Québec Integrated University Health and Social Services Centre (CIUSSS MCQ), Olymel management is announcing that its hog slaughter and cutting plant in Yamachiche, in Mauricie, will resume operations starting Tuesday, April 14. With the help from public health authorities and its partners at the plant, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the Commission desnormes, de l’équité et de la santé et sécurité du travail (CNESST) and the TUAC-Local 1991-P union, Olymel took advantage of the 14-day closure starting March 29 to implement a new protocol, the main objective of which is to protect workers’ health and fight the spread of COVID-19.
Employees who have been in isolation since March 29 are being recalled according to a list approved by public health authorities. They must not exhibit any symptoms related to COVID-19...
ANALYSIS: A Chicken Production Assessment
During times of market agitation, chicken market participants and industry observers turn to the stats in an attempt to regain a sense of...
Smithfield Foods to Suspend Production at Sioux Falls Facility
Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced that it will close its Sioux Falls, SD facility for three days. The company will suspend operations in a large section of the plant on April 11 and completely shutter on April 12 and April 13. Smithfield is taking this action out of an abundance of caution for its 3,700 employees in Sioux Falls, a portion of whom have tested positive for COVID-19.
During this time, essential personnel will repeat the rigorous deep cleaning and sanitization that have been ongoing at the facility and install additional physical barriers to further enhance social distancing. Employees will be paid for any previously scheduled hours during the temporary closure.
“Smithfield Foods is taking the utmost precautions and actions to ensure the health and wellbeing of our employees – with an even increased emphasis on...
Perdue Farms Continues Increased Measures to Protect and Support Associates During COVID-19
Perdue Farms remains focused on the health and safety of its associates, farmers, customers, consumers, communities, and business partners, as well as ensuring the continuity of its supply chain during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The federal government has deemed food industry workers as mission-critical personnel, which is a huge responsibility that Perdue is committed to fulfilling while keeping associates safe.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, we’ve enacted numerous proactive measures to protect our associates during this uncharted time,” shared Perdue Farms CEO Randy Day. “For example, at our plants, we are practicing social distancing not only in common areas, such as break rooms and cafeterias, but also...
COVID-19 Forces Technomic to Revise Foodservice Industry Forecasts
Consumers Are Eager to Dine Out and Support Local
Update: Current List of Plant Closures Due to COVID-19
Pork Exports Trend Lower in June but Remain on Record Pace; Another Tough Month for Beef Exports
Aramark Prepared to Welcome College Students Back to Campuses Across the Country
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