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Tyson Foods Warns “Food Supply Chain Is Breaking”

Tyler Durden
April 28th, 2020
ZeroHedge
Comments (10)

This article was originally published by Tyler Durden at ZeroHedge. 

Newsfeeds 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.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Please remember that the food supply chain is being affected because the mainstream media intentionally panicked the masses, and used fear to force compliance with the commands of tyrants. If human beings had been smart enough to take a stand and refuse to be controlled when this started we’d all be much better off.  Most of humanity’s tragedies (and this one is no different) are the result of following orders. 

In the book, Most Dangerous Superstition by Larken Rose, it is explained in detail why following orders is not the way a free people ought to act. The primary threat to freedom and justice is not greed, or hatred, or any of the other emotions or human flaws usually blamed for such things. Instead, it is one ubiquitous superstition that infects the minds of people of all races, religions, and nationalities, which deceives decent, well-intentioned people into supporting and advocating violence and oppression. Even without making human beings one bit more wise or virtuous, removing that one superstition would remove the vast majority of injustice and suffering from the world.

Spoiler alert: the most dangerous superstition is “authority” and those who follow its commands.

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Author: Tyler Durden
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Date: April 28th, 2020
Website: https://www.zerohedge.com

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10 Comments...

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  1. Anybody had enough yet? Well, surprise! Here it comes again. Bend over America. Your politicians want to mess with you some more. Actually, they want to mess with you a lot more. You can let them know when you’ve had enough. Have you even called your congressman to complain? Numbers add up. And if that doesn’t work? Act accordingly.

    • Anonymous says:

      I gave up on that years ago, it almost never does any good since there are more people that support what I oppose than there are nutcases like me (and us) that oppose it.

      All you do is convince them that they might have to use a more subtle approach to fool more people while they do the same thing or that there aren’t enough of us to worry about come reelection time.

      The days of the past are in the past, they aren’t going to somehow magically reappear in the present or sometime in the future.

  2. Anonymous says:

    As far as pigs go, they’re unclean animals and shouln’t be a part of the food chain.. They are a vector for transmission of all sorts of diseases to humans as well as a factor in various human degenerative diseases.

    But the farmers with excess numbers of them can just release them to roam the free range to fend for themselves the same way cattle often are and have a roundup later on when market conditions change. Pigs can be pretty self sufficient when they need to.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Having worked for Tyson Foods for years, I have come to believe that uncle John is as crooked as the day is long. I believe he must be after a few billion in bailout money. Basically, the only plants I know being affected are the pork plants. And the market certainly hasn’t slowed, but much of it has shifted from wholesale to retail. I am not a spokesperson for Tyson Foods.

  4. Darth Skippy says:

    I think that (X) companies are getting paid for insurance fraud, if:
    — there are food deserts.
    — not literal deserts under time tested, agricultural practices.
    — someone will pay some price.
    — you can distribute it to charity, using present infrastructure.

    I call shenanigans. Fake emergency.

    I agree that politics is a highly-ritualized religion. However, everything might just work, to everyone’s satisfaction, under that polity, clique, or religious cult.

    The problem with this cult was not providence; they have made a willing choice to drink the kool aid. Think about it, what if they are completely deluded by some noble lie or raison d’être, their cult dynamic, yet are still socially-stable and materially-self sufficient. They maintain their same personalities, under brainwashing. The means of production have come with them, under this cult. It still works. We have just replaced the figureheads of authority.

    If I had to write a new internet rule, akin to Godwin’s Law or the Streisand effect…

    In times of conflict, harm, and crass scientism, the mass consciousness turns to fairy things and occultism. (Transcendentalists from English Lit.)

    In times of hyperabundance, they become morbid. It’s a Malthusian instinct or Freudian death drive, caused by nothing more than than sheer boredom.

    ref —
    ancient, Roman “bread and circuses”
    Tytler Cycle
    “Behavioral sink” Calhoun rat utopia

    They talk about the breeding strategies of apex predators, vs. small rodents. Some are more or less invested in the future of their offspring. But, what if they just give up? There are anecdotes of animal suicide, under easy captivity.

    “Have you ever stood and stared at it, marveled at its beauty, its genius? Billions of people just living out their lives, oblivious. Did you know that the first Matrix was designed to be a perfect human world, where none suffered, where everyone would be happy? It was a disaster. No one would accept the program, entire crops were lost. Some believed we lacked the programming language to describe your perfect world, but I believe that, as a species, human beings define their reality through misery and suffering. The perfect world was a dream that your primitive cerebrum kept trying to wake up from.”

    One of the traits of the narcissistic psychopath is said to be under-stimulation, even past the point of self-harm. Probably, most everyday people need a job appointment, or some kind of external authority to structure their time.

    You wouldn’t use sterilents, drugs, bioweapons, or EM pollution to harm such a person. Civil rights, free time, and ubi would cause his downfall. Some religions and people groups have reportedly grown in number, under hard bondage.

    • Darth Skippy says:

      “For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear: For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress.”
      — from Prov 30

      “A whip for the horse, a bridle for the ass, and a rod for the fool’s back. Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.”
      — from Prov 26

      Mr, Rose, what exactly was supposed to happen to all the free range idiots — the 99% without agency — when they were liberated from their zookeepers? ie, welfare state, cronyism, sanitation, public utilities. Keeping in mind that masochism is a human, emotional need.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This rural county only had one case (from a college kid who returned from Europe) until the NY city rabbis brought it into the local kosher chicken processing plant. They had to shut down for 2 weeks. They have reopened, but it has spread all around the county now.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Who controls the food supply controls the people…”
    Henry Kissinger

    The tragic thing is that it didn’t have to be this way.
    If at the beginning, EVERYONE had been made to wear masks while in public, including at work, our infection rate/death rate would be a fraction of what it is now, and meat packing plants would have no need to shut down.
    An aerosolized virus is contagious when you inhale the viral particles that I just exhaled, and vice versa.
    If you are infected, you are also shedding viral particles onto everything you come in contact with.
    Wear a mask, and that stops viral particles from being expelled.

    If I wanted to get rid of a lot of elderly Social Security recipients, people on Medicare, Medicaid, SSI, and welfare, people whom the so called elite call “useless eaters”, I would encourage the spread of this virus by disseminating confusing and inaccurate information, just like our “leaders” have done.

  7. Darth Skippy says:

    oh noes = buy
    subsidies yay = sell

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