GFM Network News


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

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

JBS sees steady trade flows but flags export woes

Sao Paulo | Reuters — Brazil’s JBS, the world’s largest meatpacker, has said the COVID-19 coronavirus epidemic could cause container shortages, port disruptions and other logistics issues, but said trade flows should stay strong thanks to Chinese demand. In a conference call to discuss earnings results on Thursday, JBS executives said its export operations had […] 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

CFIA rethinking limits on travellers’ personal food imports

Consultation running until March

The federal government is considering changes to the amounts of food travellers can bring into Canada with them from other countries for their personal use. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency on Thursday announced public online consultations on the proposed new limits, which CFIA said would “better reflect the volume of foods typically moved by travellers […] Read more


Coronavirus disrupts China meat imports, food supplies

Swine fever has created pork shortage

Chicago | Reuters — Coronavirus is disrupting meat shipments to China as the country faces a shortage due to an outbreak of a fatal pig disease, Tyson Foods Inc and U.S. agricultural groups said on Thursday. An outbreak of African swine fever, which infects only pigs, has decimated China’s herd, pushing Chinese pork prices to […] Read more




A northern Ontario cattle processing plant could lead to more cattle production in the region.

Halal market focus for new northern Ontario plant

Packers: News Roundup from the November 2019 issue of Canadian Cattlemen

A new federally inspected processing plant in North Bay, Ont., will target the local and international halal market, Stew Slater reports in Farmtario. The new plant, which will only process carcasses at this point, is expected to open in December. The plant is owned by Canada Meat Group Inc., and the company’s owners also operate […] Read more