President Trump indicated that he will sign an executive order invoking the Defense Production Act to require meat processing plants to stay open during the coronavirus pandemic. The order will classify meat processing plants as essential infrastructure.
Several large processing facilities have already shut down because of coronavirus outbreaks among workers. “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,” said John Tyson, Chairman of the Board of Tyson Foods.
“As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.” In addition the lack of demand for food products from schools, restaurants, hotels, and cruise ships, has left many farmers concerned that their businesses won’t survive the pandemic.
Michelle Jones, co-owner of Country Style Marketplace, said that, so far, they haven’t been affected by any shortages. Their meat processor has made them a priority, and they pick up their own meat orders from the supplier. “We’ve got everything in stock right now, and we grind our own hamburger, so even if higher-end cuts of meat become scare, we will still be able to make burger.” she said.
Reporting for WGRT – Marty Doorn