A farm in the US was forced to destroy 2 million chickens due to staff vacations due to Covid-19 infection or fear of infection, contributing to pushing the US meat supply chain to the brink.
The Delmarva poultry farm in Delaware, USA, which works with about 1,300 farmers, said it considered all other options, “including allowing another company to transport and process chickens, then they collect a part of the processed product to use as another animal feed. ”But eventually they were forced to make this“ difficult but necessary ”decision.
“If you do not do this, the number of chickens will exceed the capacity of the farm,” the company said. The chickens will be destroyed by an approved humanitarian method and the farmers will still be compensated.
This is just a small percentage of the 609 million chickens Delmarva breeds in 2019, but disruptions in the supply chain have raised a problem facing meat producers across the US: Butchering can only be done by automation.
Tyson, one of the largest US meat producers, announced in US newspapers on July 26, “the food supply chain is breaking down,” when infected workers and workers The machine is forced to close.
“We will still provide limited quantities of products at grocery stores, until we can reopen the processing facilities,” Tyson announced.
Business Insider reported that three large pork factories in South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa – representing 15% of pork production, were forced to close indefinitely in April.
“In this pandemic, our entire industry faces a difficult choice: either continue to operate to maintain food supply, or stop operating to try to protect protect employees from risk, “Smithfield, the largest pork producer in the United States, told Bloomberg News on April 24. “It was a bad choice.”
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the amount of frozen pork in the warehouse fell 4% from March to April. Meanwhile, the capacity of slaughterhouses decreased by 25% and left 400,000 poultry.