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June 22, 2021 Issues & Insights

What We’re Reading | Stung by pandemic and JBS cyberattack, U.S. ranchers build new beef plants

By Tom Polansek, Reuters

CHICAGO, June 17 (Reuters) – U.S. cattle ranchers and investors are sinking hundreds of millions of dollars into new beef plants after temporary closures of massive slaughterhouses at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic left farmers with nowhere to send animals destined to be turned into meat.

cyberattack against the U.S. unit of Brazilian meatpacking giant JBS SA (JBSS3.SA) that idled nearly a quarter of America’s beef production earlier this month again highlighted vulnerabilities in the country’s meat supply chain and caused more headaches for farmers.

An overview of the JBS Foods cyberattack

Ranchers, as well as the U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA), say the sector is too consolidated and therefore reliant on a handful of large processors and their industrial meatpacking plants.

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‘What We’re Reading’ is a quick look at some of the issues and insights Alberta Beef Producers’ content creators and editors are reading to stay up-to-date, to broaden perspectives, and to explore issues relevant to the agriculture industry.

Photo: Canada Beef Inc.

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