Meat processing facilities are shut as their employees test positive for the Coronavirus that is threatening the supply chain. Meat supply is at risk as numerous plants shut down for two weeks.
Supermarkets and grocery stores will find it increasingly difficult to restock causing shortages and possibly disastrous repercussions for many in the supply chain.
Smithfield processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota has shut its large pork processing plant. It represents 4-5% of the Country’s total production and employs over 3,700 people. Smithfield Foods, Inc., is based in Smithfield, Virginia, and a wholly owned subsidiary of WH Group of China. Founded in 1936 as the Smithfield Packing Company by Joseph W. Luter and his son, the company is the largest pig and pork producer in the world.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said during Saturday news briefing that Smithfield employees accounted for more than half of the active Coronavirus cases in the state. About 240 employees are sick, she said, out of roughly 430 active cases in the state. Because of that, she and the mayor of Sioux Falls recommended that Smithfield suspend operations for at least two weeks.
“The closure of this facility, combined with a growing list of other protein plants that have shuttered across our industry, is pushing our country perilously close to the edge in terms of our meat supply,” the meat processor’s chief executive, Kenneth Sullivan, said in a statement Sunday.