A new report from the (NCBA) the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association an animal agriculture meat lobby group is projecting an over $13 billion dollar loss due to COVID-19.
The report compiled by a team of economists will be used to determine how much government aid relief the industry will receive because of the pandemic.
The Trump administration has already promised the meat and dairy industry’s that they would receive a whopping 15.5 million in government purchases of animal products.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act will be providing relief funds to the “beef” industry based on the results of this study.
The report summarizes:
“The U.S. beef cattle industry has been significantly impacted by COVID-19 as illustrated by the damage estimates in this report. Effects of COVID-19 are still manifesting and are likely to continue unfolding in the coming months. Agricultural producers in this industry have significant asset investments, and production occurs over multiple years. Without relief, especially at the primary producer levels, the foundations of the entire U.S. beef supply chain are threatened.”
As meat shortages sweep the country including fast-food giants like Wendy’s who have had to entirely remove cow flesh from their menu many are learning how fragile an animal-based food system truly is.
The shortages are being caused by large slaughterhouses closing down amid the pandemic as thousands of slaughterhouse workers have continued to test positive for coronavirus including one of the largest “pork” processing plants in the nation.
Business Insider has reported that 4,585 positive COVID-19 cases across 15 states have been linked to Tyson workers so far and that number is only for Tyson.
As Trump’s executive order forcing slaughterhouses to reopen many workers fear contracting the virus and spreading it to their family and friends. Many have filed suit against their employers for not providing adequate safety in the workplace and many have refused to go back to work further exasperating the flesh shortage.
According to Wall Street stock analyst Jim Cramer the pandemic has changed the consumer landscape of the “meat” industry forever with fears driving sales for plant-based vegan meats like those from Impossible Foods or Beyond meat who can give consumers safer and more sustainable meats.
As meat shortages continue, market research firm MarketsandMarket predicts plant-based meat sales will grow from $3.6 billion in 2020 to $4.2 billion by 2021, driven, in part, by consumer fears about animal-borne illnesses such as COVID-19.
Plant-based meat companies are stepping up to fill the void left behind during the meat shortage, with Impossible Foods expanding its retail distribution to 1,700 Kroger stores and Beyond Meat planning to slash prices and offer “value” bulk packs to attract new customers to its plant-based meat products.
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