Major US retailer limits meat purchases amid supply chain slowdown

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Costco

COSTCO, one of the largest food retailers in the U.S., on Monday announced a three-item limit on fresh beef, pork, and poultry purchases, as the country’s massive meat industry is impacted by coronavirus outbreaks in the supply chain

The move comes as meat processor and marketer Tyson Foods said on Monday that it expects slowdowns and the “temporary idling of production facilities” to continue during the coronavirus pandemic.

Meat-processing facilities around the country have become hotspots for coronavirus outbreaks amid rising concerns that parts of the U.S. food supply chain are starting to buckle due to the coronavirus fallout.

As of last week nearly 900 out of 2,200 employees in one Tyson plant in Indiana tested positive for the virus, according to local media station WISH-TV.

Last week President Donald Trump issued an executive order under the Defence Production Act, which will oblige meat-processing plants to stay open as part of critical infrastructure.

Trump’s announcement was met with pushback from the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), which represents many meat industry employees.

It said 20 members of the group have died from COVID-19 and 5,000 have fallen ill.

There are other issues besides the outbreaks at Tyson plants.

The breakdown of distribution networks, coupled with labour issues, has led to fresh produce rotting and dairy farmers dumping milk.

Animals are also being killed because producers cannot bring them to market. (dpa/NAN)

– May 4, 2020 @ 9:07 GMT |

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