GFM Network News


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

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


Maple Leaf poultry plant shuts for ‘deep cleaning’

COVID-19 found in three workers at Brampton facility

One of two Maple Leaf Foods plants at Brampton, Ont. has gone into shutdown mode for “deep cleaning” in the wake of three cases of the COVID-19 coronavirus among its workers. Toronto-based Maple Leaf announced Wednesday that operations at the company’s Kennedy Road poultry slaughter and packing plant in Brampton are suspended “while we complete […] Read more

Alberta’s provincial meat inspectors to train for federal duty

Provincial inspectors to be seconded to CFIA-inspected packers

Provincial meat inspectors in Alberta could soon be seconded to federally inspected packing plants under a new work-sharing arrangement between the province and Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The federal and Alberta governments announced Wednesday they would partner to “increase food inspector capacity” in the province and thus “ensure the continuous operation of Alberta’s food supply […] Read more