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

Smithfield starting to reopen Sioux Falls hog plant, union says

Major plant was shuttered by COVID-19 outbreak

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, resumed limited operations on Monday at a massive South Dakota slaughterhouse it closed last month because of the coronavirus pandemic, the union representing plant employees said. The closure of the plant and other slaughterhouses due to coronavirus cases among employees has led to temporary […] Read more


Smithfield to close Illinois pork facility

Workers test positive for COVID-19

Reuters — World’s largest pork processor Smithfield Foods said Friday it will suspend operations at its Monmouth, Illinois pork processing facility next week after some employees tested positive for COVID-19, adding to already strained U.S. meat supplies. The news of some of the company’s 1,700 employees at the plant testing positive comes a day after […] Read more

COVID-19 forces Tyson to shutter two major U.S. pork plants

UPDATED — Reuters — Tyson Foods is shuttering two pork processing plants, including its largest in the United States, to contain the spread of the coronavirus, further tightening meat supplies after other major slaughterhouse shutdowns. The closures are limiting the amount of meat the U.S. can produce during the outbreak and adding stress on farmers […] Read more


U.S. announces coronavirus aid for farmers, food buys for poor

Direct payments, mass purchases planned

Chicago | Reuters — President Donald Trump on Friday announced a $19 billion relief program to help U.S. farmers cope with the impact of the coronavirus, including $16 billion in direct payments to producers and mass purchases of meat, dairy, vegetables and other products (all figures US$). The U.S. Agriculture Department is partnering with regional […] Read more

Trump administration aims to buy milk, meat to help farmers, Perdue says

Homeland Security to ease visa rules for ag workers

Reuters — The U.S. government plans to buy milk and meat from farmers as part of an initial US$15.5 billion effort to help them weather the impact of the coronavirus outbreak, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said on Wednesday. The decision comes amid rising pressure from the U.S. farm lobby for government purchases as growers and […] Read more


Smithfield shutting South Dakota pork plant indefinitely

Major packer warns of meat shortages during pandemic

Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Sunday it will shut a U.S. plant indefinitely due to a rash of coronavirus cases among employees and warned the country was moving “perilously close to the edge” in supplies for grocers. Slaughterhouse shutdowns are disrupting the U.S. food supply chain, crimping […] Read more



U.S. under pressure to keep slaughterhouses open

Chicago | Reuters — The U.S. Department of Agriculture is seeking to reassure meat producers it will keep slaughterhouses staffed with federal inspectors as fears about potential shutdowns due to the COVID-19 coronavirus hammer livestock prices and fuel concerns about food supplies, meat industry groups said on Monday. Livestock markets have been hit hard as […] Read more

Chinese meat packing giant locks in JBS supply

The world’s biggest pork packer is poised to source additional beef, poultry and pork from the world’s biggest meat packing firm. Brazil’s JBS announced Monday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong-based WH Group for “supply and distribution of fresh beef, poultry and pork to the Chinese market” starting in the first […] Read more