GFM Network News


China’s slower meat imports seen worsening its protein shortage

Beijing | Reuters — China’s dwindling pace of meat imports, thanks to its tough measures against coronavirus contamination, will provide further support for prices already buoyed by a severe shortage of pork, analysts said. Purchases of pork and other meats have soared this year after domestic production shrank 30 per cent following an outbreak of […] Read more

Shutdowns and slowdowns at packing plants caused by COVID-19 have created a backlog of 130,000 cattle that must be fed until they can be processed.

Packing plants back on track, but future uncertain

With a huge backlog of animals to work through, cattle groups are fearful of what comes next

Alberta’s beef-packing plants are working at or near full capacity but the crisis is not over yet, say cattle leaders. “Our processing capacity has continued to increase over the past few weeks and cattle prices have been relatively strong, but markets are still vulnerable to a disruption in the processing plants,” Alberta Beef Producers chair […] Read more


Pork packer considering Moose Jaw’s ex-beef plant

Donald's Fine Foods announces 'feasibility study'

A potential buyer’s study could soon show whether a former beef packing plant in southern Saskatchewan has the bones to support a pork processing operation for cull sows. Richmond, B.C.-based Donald’s Fine Foods, which since 2010 has operated the Thunder Creek Pork hog plant at Moose Jaw, announced last week it plans to run a […] Read more

Tyson to shut Iowa pork plant against COVID-19 outbreak

Plant handles up to 3.5 per cent of U.S. pork output

Chicago | Reuters — Tyson Foods said on Thursday it will temporarily close an Iowa pork plant due to the coronavirus pandemic, a month after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered slaughterhouses to stay open to protect the country’s food supply. Meat processors such as Tyson, WH Group’s Smithfield Foods and JBS USA temporarily closed about […] Read more


More Mexican beef headed to U.S. dinner tables as supply crunch bites

"I think we're going to leap past Canada this year"

Mexico City/Chicago | Reuters — More Mexican steaks and other beef cuts are headed north of the border after the coronavirus outbreak has hobbled U.S. meat processing plants, potentially offsetting fears of shortages affecting businesses from fast-food chains to grocery stores but angering U.S. ranchers. The Mexican industry chalks up the export growth to new […] Read more

Major Ontario pork packer expects to re-open Monday

Conestoga Meats went offline April 27

The hog slaughter and processing plant billed as Ontario’s second-biggest pork producer expects to be back in business Monday after a week-long COVID-19-related shutdown. Conestoga Meats, based at Breslau, just east of Kitchener, notified hog farmers and shippers on Friday that it would suspend “most operations” during the week of April 27 to May 1, […] Read more


Pulse weekly outlook: Manitoba pea plant construction continues

MarketsFarm — Work continues on Roquette’s pea processing plant at Portage la Prairie, Man., where the French plant-protein firm says measures have been taken to meet health and safety regulations regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. “Beginning in early March we proactively started collaborating with contractors on COVID-19 prevention measures, such as increased cleaning of communal spaces […] Read more

Cargill to temporarily idle High River beef plant

Packing plant hit by COVID-19 outbreak; another 67 cases linked to JBS plant

Reuters — Cargill Ltd. said Monday it had begun the process of temporarily idling its beef plant at High River, Alta. because of the COVID-19 outbreak as provincial health officials said hundreds of workers at the plant had become infected. In her daily media update, Alberta chief medical officer Deena Hinshaw said a total of […] Read more


CFIA funded to build up inspection corps against COVID-19

Short spells of disruptions still to be expected at food plants

Ottawa — The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is spending $20 million to hire, train and equip additional staff members to limit disruptions resulting from COVID-19. With meat packers and food processing plants considering extended hours as they adjust to taking extra measures to combat the pandemic, CFIA was in need of a response to […] Read more

‘Elbow to elbow:’ North America’s meat plant workers fall ill, walk off jobs

Supply chains struggling to keep pace with surging demand

Chicago/Winnipeg | Reuters — At a Wayne Farms chicken processing plant in Alabama, workers recently had to pay the company 10 U.S. cents a day to buy masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to a meat inspector. In Colorado, nearly a third of the workers at a JBS USA beef plant stayed […] Read more