GFM Network News



File photo of South African malting barley. (Sunshine Seeds/iStock/Getty Images)

South Africa’s barley growers face bleak outlook on alcohol ban

Ban reinstated against COVID-19 surge

Johannesburg | Reuters — South African barley farmers are bracing for a tough market ahead as demand for the grain used to make beer falls and stockpiles grow after a ban on the sale of alcohol was reinstated as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases. The government in December enforced its third ban […] Read more



An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more



Beef is on display at a Walmart in Beijing on Sept. 23, 2019. (File photo: Reuters/Tingshu Wang)

China’s coronavirus testing chokes beef trade

Additional inspections, disinfections costly for importers

Beijing | Reuters — In a supermarket in downtown Beijing, refrigerator shelves normally filled with steak from around the world sit empty as tougher testing for the novel coronavirus creates supply bottlenecks and raises prices for importers. Fresh supplies of beef won’t arrive for days, a salesman at the Suning.com-owned Carrefour outlet told Reuters — […] Read more



An image created by Nexu Science Communication, together with Trinity College in Dublin, shows a model structurally representative of a betacoronavirus, the type of virus linked to COVID-19. (Nexu Science Communication via Reuters)

Irritated trade partners push back on China’s coronavirus food tests

Canada rips testing as 'unjustified trade restrictions'

Beijing/Geneva | Reuters — Major food-producing countries are growing increasingly frustrated with China’s scrutiny of imported products and are calling on it to stop aggressive testing for the coronavirus, which some say is tantamount to a trade restriction. China says it has found the virus on the packaging of products from 20 countries including German […] Read more


File photo of a farmed mink. (Konstantin Sokolov/iStock/Getty Images)

Coronavirus kills 15,000 U.S. mink

Affected states aren't planning to cull

Chicago | Reuters — More than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the coronavirus since August, and authorities are keeping about a dozen farms under quarantine while they investigate the cases, state agriculture officials said. Global health officials are eying the animals as a potential risk for people after Denmark last week […] Read more

File photo of a farmed mink. (Konstantin Sokolov/iStock/Getty Images)

Denmark tightens lockdown as mink cull devastates industry

WHO and ECDC experts support Denmark's strategy

Copenhagen | Reuters — Denmark announced strict new lockdown rules on Thursday in the north of the country after authorities discovered a mutated coronavirus strain in minks bred in the region, prompting a nationwide cull that will devastate the large pelt industry. The government said on Wednesday that it would cull all minks — up […] Read more