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Tyson Foods Warns “Food Supply Chain Is Breaking”

News feeds in April have been inundated with food supply chain disruption stories due to coronavirus-related shutdowns. At least a third of US meatpacking facilities handling hogs have shifted offline this month, other plants that process cows and chickens have also shuttered operations, forcing farmers to cull herds and flocks. This is because each plant closure diminishes the ability for a farmer to sell animals at the market, leaves them with overcapacity issues similar to the turmoil facing the oil industry. Only unlike oil where pumped oil must be stored somewhere (as one can’t just dump it in the nearest river) even if that ends up costing producers money as we saw last Monday when oil prices turned negative for the first time ever, food producers have a simpler option: just killing their livestock.

We previously explained what this imbalance has created: crashing live cattle spot prices while finished meat prices are soaring, which doesn’t just affect farmers but also consumers simultaneously and could spark a shortage of meat at grocery stores as soon as the first week of May.  

And in the starkest warning yet that high food prices could last for a long time, Tyson Foods warned in a full-page ad  in the New York Times on Sunday that the “food supply chain is breaking.”

“As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain,” wrote Tyson Chairman John Tyson, patriarch of the company’s founding family, in a Tyson Foods website post that also ran as a full-page ad in several newspapers. “The food supply chain is breaking.”

Confirming the worst fears of American pork and bacon consumers, Tyson wrote that the company has been forced to close plants, and that federal, state and local government officials needed to coordinate to allow plants to operate safely, “without fear, panic or worry” among employees. He warned that supply shortages of its products will be seen at grocery stores, as at least a dozen major meatpacking plants close operations for virus-related issues. 

Brett Stuart, president of Denver-based consulting firm Global AgriTrends, calls the situation “absolutely unprecedented.” 

“It’s a lose-lose situation where we have producers at the risk of losing everything and consumers at the risk of paying higher prices.” 

Last week, Smithfield Foods, one of the top pork producers in the world, closed another operation in Illinois. That news came directly after Hormel Foods closed two of its Jennie-O turkey plants in Minnesota. Then it was reported over the weekend that major poultry plants across Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia had reduced hours because of worker shortages due to virus issues. And then on Sunday, JBS USA closed a large beef production facility in Wisconsin. 

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield said in a statement Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

Bloomberg’s map shows the latest closures of meatpacking plants: 

Even before the Tyson warnings, last week we cautioned that it was appropriate to label virus outbreaks at meatpacking plants as the “next disaster zones” of the pandemic. This wasn’t just because of workers and USDA inspectors were contracting the virus, and in some cases dying – but because food shortages could also add to social instabilities during a pandemic and economic crisis. 

The distress in the agricultural space has not been limited to just livestock. Dairy and produce farmers have had to dump or throw out spoiled products due to a collapse in demand for bulk products, mostly because of shifting supply chains with the closure of restaurants, cruise ships, hotels, resorts, education systems, and anyone else who is not deemed essential in a lockdown. 

What this means is that farmers who generally sell bulk products do not have the means at the moment to convert product lines into individual items for direct to consumer selling. This will take time for the conversion. So, in the meantime, with no customers, farmers have to dump. 

Politico has outlined some of this disruption: 

“Images of farmers destroying tomatoes, piling up squash, burying onions and dumping milk shocked many Americans who remain fearful of supply shortages. At the same time, people who recently lost their jobs lined up for miles outside some food banks, raising questions about why there has been no coordinated response at the federal level to get the surplus of perishable food to more people in need, even as commodity groups, state leaders and lawmakers repeatedly urged the Agriculture Department to step in.”

Tom Vilsack, who served as agriculture secretary during the Obama administration, put it this way: “It’s not a lack of food, it’s that the food is in one place and the demand is somewhere else and they haven’t been able to connect the dots. You’ve got to galvanize people.”

The immediate outcome of this food supply chain collapse will be even more rapid food inflation, hitting Americans at a time of unprecedented economic hardships with at least 26.5 million now unemployed since the pandemic struck the US.

And with a sharp economic recession, if not outright depression unfolding, more Americans are ditching grocery stores for food banks, putting incredible stress on these charities, which has forced the government to deploy National Guard troops at many locations to ensure food security to the neediest. 

Update (April 24):  At least ten meatpacking facilities have shuttered operations over the last several weeks, stoking fears of imminent food shortages across the country.

Hormel Foods Corporation announced Jennie-O Turkey Store, Inc., “will temporarily pause operations at its Willmar Avenue and its Benson Avenue facilities, both located in Willmar, Minn.”

“Based on information about the community spread of COVID-19 in the area, the company decided it was the right decision to pause operations to undergo a facility-wide cleaning that will enhance already robust safety and sanitization protocols. Under its pay program, all Jennie-O Turkey Store employees will continue to receive 100 percent of their base pay and benefits during the pause in production. Jennie-O Turkey Store is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hormel Foods Corporation.”

Steve Lykken, president of Jennie-O Turkey Store, said, “The health, well-being and safety of our team members is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to take a pause in operations.”

“We are being thoughtful and considerate in our approach to this process. I want to recognize our production professionals for continuing to do an outstanding job as they work to keep food on tables during this unprecedented time. I am very proud of them and I look forward to being back together as soon as we are able.”

“During this pause, we will maintain our thorough food processing sanitation practices, as well as the enhanced procedures that we have been employing since the emergence of COVID-19. The facilities will be deep cleaned, including all common areas and high-touch surfaces,” Lykken added.

“Lastly, we have implemented wellness screenings, provided masks and additional personal protective equipment and enhanced safety and sanitation protocols throughout our facilities. We are working closely with external partners as we also develop our plan for reopening when the time is appropriate. As a longstanding and respected Minnesota company, our goal is to always do the right thing.”

Both facilities are expected to close by the end of the weekend. There were reports earlier in the week that 14 employees out of 1,200 had tested positive for the virus.

We noted on Thursday that “dominos are falling, with meatpacking plants shuttering operations across the country because of the coronavirus outbreak.”

Also, health officials in Illinois closed Hormel’s Rochelle Foods plant last Friday, a move that could trigger a shortage of Spam products. 

In the days and or weeks ahead, more meatpacking plants will likely close for virus-related reasons – which will lead to food shortages in May.

* * * 

Update (April 23):  Food shortages across the country are coming a lot quicker than anyone has anticipated. A total of eight meatpacking plants have already gone offline in weeks. On Thursday morning, we noted how pork shortages could hit households by the first week of May.

Now we’re starting to learn the dominos are falling, with meatpacking plants shuttering operations across the country because of the coronavirus outbreak.

Tyson Foods Inc. has announced the third plant closure in about a week and the second closure within 24 hours. The latest announcement crossed the wires on Thursday afternoon, specifies how a major beef facility in Pasco, Washington, is shutting down operations because of the virus outbreak, reported Bloomberg.

“We’re working with local health officials to bring the plant back to full operation as soon as we believe it to be safe,” Steve Stouffer, head of Tyson Fresh Meats, said in the company’s statement. 

“Unfortunately, the closure will mean reduced food supplies and presents problems to farmers who have no place to take their livestock. It’s a complicated situation across the supply chain.”

In total, eight major meatpacking plants have closed in the last several weeks. We noted on Thursday morning that a “rash of coronavirus outbreaks at dozens of meatpacking plants across the nation is far more extensive than previously thought.” 

As for the plant in Washington, well, it produces enough beef to feed four million people per day. Just imagine what happens when people who have just lost their jobs experience food shortages, or maybe rapid food inflation. It could be a trigger for social unrest.

* * * 

Update (19:50):  It appears meatpacking facilities in America’s heartland could be the next epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Tyson Foods announced two closures of meatpacking facilities because of coronavirus related issues.

Here’s the timeline of closures:

  • We noted around 0900 ET that Tyson was closing its meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa.
  • Around 1800 ET, Tyson announced the second closure of a meatpacking plant, located in Logansport, Indiana. 

Both plants are preparing for closure due to coronavirus related issues, with planned testing of all workers in the near term. 

The Logansport’s facility “produces three million pounds of pork daily and helps support more than 250 independent family farmers from across nine states, suspended production for one day on April 20 for additional deep cleaning and sanitizing. Since then, the facility has been running at limited production and is expected to stop production on or before Saturday, April 25,” said a Tyson Foods press release. 

“While we understand the necessity of keeping our facilities operational so that we can continue to feed the nation, the safety of our team members remains our top priority,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats.

“Our company is deeply embedded in our plant communities, including Logansport. We’re working with the county to make sure our people and the community are safe. The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close.”

The reopening of the plant will depend on several factors, including the results of a COVID-19 test of workers.

We have noted the closure of meatpacking plants across the country will trigger supply disruptions and lead to product shortages in the near term.

* * * 

Food-security remains a significant problem during coronavirus lockdowns. The next big issue unfolding is the shuttering of the nation’s food plants could drive food inflation sky high. 

On Wednesday, Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef, and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, released a statement that said its plant in Waterloo, Iowa, will suspend operations until further notice. Source: ZeroHedge

The company said the Waterloo location is its largest pork plant, has been running at reduced output “due to worker absenteeism.” 

Tyson is planning to test all 2,800 workers for COVID-19 at the facility later this week.

“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 fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production.”

Stouffer warned that the closure of the pork plant could ripple through the production chain and cause significant disruptions to the “nation’s pork supply:” 

“The closure has significant ramifications beyond our company, since the plant is part of a larger supply chain that includes hundreds of independent farmers, truckers, distributors and customers, including grocers,” Stouffer said. “It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply.”

The company said workers would be “compensated while the plant is closed.” There was no firm timeline on when the plant would reopen. However, there were several factors, including the “outcome of team member testing for COVID-19.” 

We noted over the weekend that meat prices across the country are surging as food processing plants are closing because of the virus. 

The latest plant closure was China-owned Smithfield Food’s factory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the largest pork processing plant in the US, due to a coronavirus outbreak, could leave Americans without pork products.

Also, health officials in Illinois closed Hormel’s Rochelle Foods plant last Friday, a move that could trigger a shortage of Spam products. 

And it appears food inflation could be imminent as coronavirus is leading to the shutdown of food manufacturing plants across the country.    

Tyson Closes Two Major Pork Plants Over COVID Concerns…

Update (19:50):  It appears meatpacking facilities in America’s heartland could be the next epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Tyson Foods announced two closures of meatpacking facilities because of coronavirus related issues.

Here’s the timeline of closures:

  • We noted around 0900 ET that Tyson was closing its meatpacking plant in Waterloo, Iowa.
  • Around 1800 ET, Tyson announced the second closure of a meatpacking plant, located in Logansport, Indiana. 

Both plants are preparing for closure due to coronavirus related issues, with planned testing of all workers in the near term. 

The Logansport’s facility “produces three million pounds of pork daily and helps support more than 250 independent family farmers from across nine states, suspended production for one day on April 20 for additional deep cleaning and sanitizing. Since then, the facility has been running at limited production and is expected to stop production on or before Saturday, April 25,” said a Tyson Foods press release. 

“While we understand the necessity of keeping our facilities operational so that we can continue to feed the nation, the safety of our team members remains our top priority,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats.

“Our company is deeply embedded in our plant communities, including Logansport. We’re working with the county to make sure our people and the community are safe. The combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in a collective decision to close.”

The reopening of the plant will depend on several factors, including the results of a COVID-19 test of workers.

We have noted the closure of meatpacking plants across the country will trigger supply disruptions and lead to product shortages in the near term.

* * * 

Food-security remains a significant problem during coronavirus lockdowns. The next big issue unfolding is the shuttering of the nation’s food plants could drive food inflation sky high. 

On Wednesday, Tyson Fresh Meats, the beef and pork subsidiary of Tyson Foods, released a statement that said its plant in Waterloo, Iowa, will suspend operations until further notice. 

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The company said the Waterloo location is its largest pork plant, has been running at reduced output “due to worker absenteeism.” 

“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. 

Tyson is planning to test all 2,800 workers for COVID-19 at the facility later this week.

“Despite our continued efforts to keep our people safe while fulfilling our critical role of feeding American families, the combination of worker absenteeism, COVID-19 cases and community concerns has resulted in our decision to stop production.”

Stouffer warned that the closure of the pork plant could ripple through the production chain and cause significant disruptions to the “nation’s pork supply:” 

“The closure has significant ramifications beyond our company, since the plant is part of a larger supply chain that includes hundreds of independent farmers, truckers, distributors and customers, including grocers,” Stouffer said. “It means the loss of a vital market outlet for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply.”

The company said workers would be “compensated while the plant is closed.” There was no firm timeline on when the plant would reopen. However, there were several factors, including the “outcome of team member testing for COVID-19.” 

We noted over the weekend that meat prices across the country are surging as food processing plants are closing because of the virus. 

The latest plant closure was China-owned Smithfield Food’s factory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, the largest pork processing plant in the US, due to a coronavirus outbreak, could leave Americans without pork products.

Also, health officials in Illinois closed Hormel’s Rochelle Foods plant last Friday, a move that could trigger a shortage of Spam products. 

And it appears food inflation could be imminent as coronavirus is leading to the shutdown of food manufacturing plants across the country.    

Source: ZeroHedge HNewsWire ZeroHedge

StevieRay Hansen
Editor, HNewsWire.com
Watchmen does not confuse truth with consensus The Watchmen does not confuse God’s word with the word of those in power…

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The accumulating death toll from Covid-19 can be seen minute-by-minute on cable news channels. But there’s another death toll few seem to care much about: the number of poverty-related deaths being set in motion by deliberately plunging millions of Americans into poverty and despair.

American health care, as we call it today, and for all its high-tech miracles, has evolved into one of the most atrocious rackets the world has ever seen. By racket, I mean an enterprise organized explicitly to make money dishonestly.

All the official reassurances won’t be worth a bucket of warm spit. The Globals are behind the CoronaVirus, It Is a Man-Made Bioweapon.

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1 Comment

  1. WWW.TruthandLife.US on April 23, 2020 at 12:53 am

    COVID-19 is a reason to shutdown the global economy and establish government Fascism/Communism why???

    It’s clearly NOT to protect the world FROM DEATH!!!! JUST DO THE MATH FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!!

    Even with very exaggerated numbers (many deaths unrelated to COVID are being counted as COVID anyway) we are ~ a 3rd of the way through the year 2020 and the death count is at 184,000. Extend that out for the whole year to be say 600,000. Not good, but in comparison to the normal global, annual death count it is a tiny 1.1%!!! And this is why they are telling us to fear and stay home???? ENOUGH!!!!

    According to the World Health Organization, 56 million people die each year (with 3 million dying from lower respiratory infections annually normally), which is an average of about 153,424 people each day.

    WHAT A TOTAL FREAKING CON JOB!!! ENOUGH!!! INFORM AND PUSH BACK – HARD!!! REFUSE TO VOTE FOR ANY CANDIDATE PUSHING THIS LIE!!! DEMAND FAUCI RESIGN OR BE LOCKED-UP!!!!!

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