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NCBA Applauds Introduction of DIRECT Act
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) applauded the introduction of the bipartisan legislation to create new direct-to-consumer options for beef producers, processors and small meat markets without compromising federal food safety standards or market access under existing trade agreements.
Introduced by U.S. Representatives Dusty Johnson (R - At-Large, SD) and Henry Cuellar (D - 28th Dist., TX), the Direct Interstate Retail Exemption for Certain Transactions (DIRECT) Act of 2020 would amend retail exemptions under current law to allow meat processed under state-inspected establishments to be sold across state lines through e-commerce, providing beef producers and local processors alike with...
Pilgrim’s Publishes 2019 Sustainability Achievements and Advancement Toward 2020 Goals
Pilgrim’s Pride today announced the release of its 2019 Sustainability Report and progress toward 2020 sustainability goals. The report transparently details the company’s progress in the key priority areas of team member health and safety, product integrity, animal welfare, water and energy across its operations in the UK, Continental Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the United States.
“The Pilgrim’s global team is driven by our passion to sustainably produce food that positively impacts the lives of our team members, grower partners, customers, shareholders and society,” said Jayson Penn, President and CEO, Pilgrim’s. “We are focused on doing things the right way and creating...
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...
Kroger and Ocado Announce Three Additional Regions for Customer Fulfillment Centers
Kroger and Ocado announced the continued expansion of their partnership with plans to construct three new Customer Fulfillment Centers (CFC) in the Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest and West regions.
"Kroger is incredibly excited to construct three additional industry-leading Customer Fulfillment Centers across the country in relationship with Ocado to bring fresh food to our customers more conveniently than ever before," said Robert Clark, Kroger's senior vice president of supply chain, manufacturing and sourcing. "Through our strategic partnership, we are...
Cargill Demonstrates Significant Progress Against Critical Sustainability Goals
At Cargill, sustainability is written into the company’s purpose—and woven into core operations including investment priorities, organizational structure and resource allocation. The company recently outlined progress against sustainability goals in critical supply chains including aqua nutrition, cocoa and chocolate, palm, soy, ocean transportation and beef. With a focus on advancing progress on land use, climate change, water, farmer prosperity and human rights, the company is working across every supply chain to drive sustainable production, transportation and operations.
“The call for radical transparency is increasing. More than ever, our customers and consumers want to understand the story behind the products they buy,” said Jill Kolling, Vice President of Global Sustainability, Cargill. “By investing and partnering on...
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...
USDA, FDA Strengthen U.S. Food Supply Chain Protections During COVID-19 Pandemic
As the COVID-19 pandemic response continues, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have been working around the clock on many fronts to support the U.S. food and agriculture sector so that Americans continue to have access to a safe and robust food supply. As a next step in carrying out Executive Order 13917, the USDA and FDA announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) (PDF, 137 KB) to help prevent interruptions at FDA-regulated food facilities, including fruit and vegetable processing.
This is an important preparedness effort as we are approaching peak harvesting seasons, when many fruits and vegetables grown across the U.S. are sent to be...
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:
PODCAST: Scrambling for Eggs? Volatility In the Egg Market
This week Laura returns to the show to discuss the volatility in the egg market due to Covid-19 with Brian Moscogiuri. They cover supply issues, retail demand, typical seasonal factors, and more...
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...
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...
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...
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...
Rabobank: Impact of Coronavirus on Southeast Asian Food & Agribusiness
Southeast Asia will face far-reaching challenges from the impacts of the coronavirus outbreak, such as economic decline, reduced out-of-home consumption, and supply chains disruptions, even beyond the lockdowns.
After panic buying, consumers will shift from foodservice to retail and – after a short, suppressed splurge (if any) – to recession-period spending.
Production will also be affected, albeit less, but transporting goods will continue to experience problems due to...
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...
National Chicken Council Requests Relief for Chicken Farmers Affected by COVID-19
The National Chicken Council sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting relief for family farmers due to potential supply chain effects related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
“As a result of reduced workforce at processing plants, foodservice demand vanishing virtually overnight, historically high cold storage supply levels and a potential loss of international trade market access due to the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), some chicken processors have begun to reduce eggs set to reflect decreased demand and to avoid any potential animal welfare concerns,” the letter read. “One implication of trying to...
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...
Estimated March Imports Hit Five-Year Low, Declines Expected to Continue Amid Pandemic
Estimates show that imports at major U.S. retail container ports dropped to their lowest level in five years in March, and imports are projected to remain significantly below normal levels through early summer as the coronavirus pandemic continues, according to the Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
“Even as factories in China have begun to get back to work, we are seeing far fewer imports coming into the United States than previously expected,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Many stores are closed, and consumer demand has been impacted with...
ANALYSIS: Turkey Thigh Meat and Pork Hams: Feeling the Export Pressure
Marketers of turkey thigh meat and boneless pork hams are certainly no stranger to some cross-protein competition...
Coronavirus Impacts Meat Consumption in China
One of the many effects from the coronavirus outbreak in China is the impacts it has had on food consumption and the demand for meat.
At the height of the outbreak, nearly all foodservice establishments were closed, with some attempting to resume business now. However, restaurants that have managed to remain open are facing a sharp decline as consumers are staying indoors. A few restaurants switched to a delivery-only model during this time to help cash flow, but consumers are still hesitant of ordering and interacting with delivery drivers.
According to Darin Friedrichs, Senior Asia Commodity Analyst at INTL FCStone, consumer sentiment has been improving as China continues to...
NPPC Seeks Labor Solutions for Potential COVID-19 Impact on Pork Supply Chain
The fallout from an ongoing labor shortage facing the U.S. pork industry and other agriculture sectors could significantly worsen due to the impact of COVID-19, the National Pork Producers Council said in a letter to U.S. government officials. NPPC’s concerns regarding COVID-19 are labor specific. There is no evidence that pigs can contract the virus.
In a letter to the president and other administration officials, members of Congress, and state governors, NPPC called for expedited solutions addressing the need for more workers on hog farms and in pork plants. It also called on federal, state and local governments to work together to develop a response to COVID-19 that protects public health and...
Taco Bell Releases Statement Regarding Reduction in Antibiotics Used for Beef
Taco Bell recognizes consumers’ growing food supply concerns, including animal welfare and antibiotic resistance. Building upon its commitment to making its beef more sustainable from January 2019, Taco Bell has committed to reduce antibiotics important to human health in its U.S. and Canada beef supply chain by 25% by 2025. This new policy around its dominant menu protein, beef, will better protect human, animal and environmental health.
As part of this new policy, Taco Bell will also give preference to suppliers that are making measured reductions in their use of antibiotics important to human health, as defined by the World Health Organization, as well as suppliers that increase veterinary oversight when it is required to medically treat sick animals. Preference will also be given to...
Cargill States Commitment to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Across North American Beef Supply Chain
Global demand for protein is rising rapidly, challenging farmers, ranchers and agribusiness to feed a growing population while protecting the planet. Across the food and agriculture industry, there is a pressing need to do more with less impact. To help address this need, Cargill is launching BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative committed to achieving a 30% greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity reduction across its North American beef supply chain by 2030.
The opt-in initiative will reduce GHG emissions throughout Cargill's beef supply chain from a 2017 baseline, measured on a per pound of product basis. BeefUp Sustainability is designed to engage a diverse set of stakeholders including producers, customers and innovators. The initiative will focus on four key areas: grazing management, feed production, innovation and...
What are the Top Cold Chain Logistics Problems Facing Food Companies?
SpendEdge, a leading provider of procurement market intelligence solutions, has announced the completion of their latest article on the top cold chain logistics problems facing the food industry.
The shift in consumer preferences has increased the demand for perishable food products. However, the changing regulatory norms, capital intensive equipment and strict-temperature requirements pose challenges for cold chain logistics companies. The increase in sensitivity and quality standards further creates the need for companies to improve food cold chain management...
Walmart Announces Plan to Invest $1.2 Billion to Upgrade Logistics in China
Ryan McDaniel, Senior Vice President of Walmart China Supply Chain, announced Monday that Walmart will increase its investment in its supply-chain logistics. In addition to building the first customized perishable food distribution center, the South China Fresh Food Distribution Center, the company plans to increase investment in its supply-chain logistics in China by RMB 8 billion, or about $1.2 billion, building or upgrading more than 10 logistics distribution centers over the next 10-20 years.
Walmart invested more than RMB 700 million to build the South China Fresh Food Distribution Center, which has been in operation since March 2019. It currently serves more than 100 Walmart stores in Guangdong and Guangxi, with daily distributing capacity of up to...
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