The largest meat processor in the country was hit by a cyber attack. What does this mean for the food supply chain?
“We have to keep feeding the cattle, it increases our costs and breaks the supply chain to consumers,” said Weborg. “There are no other processing facilities that can pick up the lost capacity from JBS.”
The longer the JBS plants are closed, the greater the impact on the cattle market, said Lee Reichmuth, cattle producer and board member of the US Cattlemen’s Association. Worse, as has happened in recent years with Covid-19-related shutdowns and a fire at a Tyson meat packer in Holcomb, Kansas, disruption to the slaughterhouse can lead to a deluge of market-ready animals. As more and more cattle flood the market, the balance between supply and demand shifts in favor of meat packers like JBS, who can then pay less for live animals after reopening.
Meanwhile, grocery store prices remain higher – or higher – than ever. “This is just another Black Swan event, so to speak, that both producers and consumers are suffering from,” Reichmuth said, adding that prices for beef producers are already at 10- and 11-year lows. A one-day break could be “a minute” on the whole, said Reichmuth, but closings that last longer than five days could “have a huge impact on the producers”.
In a press release on Monday, JBS said there was “no known evidence that customer, supplier or employee data was compromised or misused as a result of the situation. The incident will take some time to resolve, which can delay certain transactions with customers and suppliers. ”
This is a developing story and we will update it as the situation develops.