GFM Network News


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

U.S. livestock: Live cattle pull back on demand uncertainty

CME lean hogs strengthen

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures closed lower on Tuesday for a second consecutive session after key contracts reached more-than-four-month highs last week as processors continued to cut into a surplus of market-ready cattle, traders said. Concerns about a piecemeal economic reopening as coronavirus cases flare up across the United States have traders […] Read more



Klassen: Feeder cattle market searching for direction

Feedlots expecting barley prices to drop

Western Canadian feeder cattle prices continue to trade in a sideways pattern. Compared to last week, prices were quoted $2-$3 on either side of unchanged. Most auction barns were on holidays last week and arenas that did hold sales experienced limited volumes. Therefore, the market was hard to define. U.S. feeder cattle markets were steady […] Read more


U.S. meatpacking workers often absent after plants ordered to reopen

"There's still so many risks"

Chicago/Washington | Reuters — Smithfield Foods is missing about a third of its employees at a South Dakota pork plant because they are quarantined or afraid to return to work after a severe coronavirus outbreak, according to the workers’ union. Tyson Foods was forced to briefly close its Storm Lake, Iowa plant — a month […] Read more

Trump asks U.S. Justice Department to look into meat price disparities

Washington | Reuters — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he had urged the Justice Department to look into allegations that the meatpacking industry broke antitrust law because the price that slaughterhouses pay farmers for animals had dropped even as meat prices rose. “I’ve asked the Justice Department to look into it. … I’ve […] Read more


U.S. senators scrutinize meat packers’ profits during pandemic

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. senators are calling for investigations of record profit margins for beef processors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, after ranchers complained surging meat prices due to coronavirus hoarding did not translate into higher cattle prices. Futures prices for cattle have tumbled during the outbreak, worrying farmers as the U.S. economy […] Read more

U.S. livestock: Cattle limit up on beef demand, strong packer margins

Cash hog prices up, pork cutout down

Chicago | Reuters — U.S. live cattle futures settled up their expanded daily limit on Tuesday as traders continued to react to soaring profit margins for beef packers that should lift prices in the cash cattle market this week. Retail demand for meat has surged as fears of the COVID-19 coronavirus prompt consumers to stock […] Read more


As meat demand rises, processors raise pay for farmers, workers

Chicago | Reuters –– North American meat processors said on Monday they would pay extra money to farmers and slaughterhouse workers as the companies scramble to meet surging demand from consumers unnerved by the spread of the new coronavirus. Companies such as Tyson Foods and Cargill want to ensure their slaughterhouses remain supplied with cattle […] Read more

Meat packing sector needs federal inspectors

Shared staff, recalling recent retirees among options on table

The federal government is working on ways it can maintain inspection staffing levels at federally-licensed meat packing plants. Speaking to media Saturday in Ottawa, Agriculture Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau addressed concerns surrounding the ability of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to continue meat inspection work. The Reuters news service on Monday quoted two unnamed sources […] Read more