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Email Content: Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Chicken Companies Expand Production


According to Bloomberg, chicken companies are expanding production to satisfy the demand for products suitable for home meals.  The advent of COVID-19 has resulted in a need for greater quantities of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable foods.  The trend towards purchasing groceries has been at the expense of the food service segment supplying restaurants that have experienced a sharp decline in customer visits.


Sanderson Farms has added Saturday shifts at five plants producing tray-pack and will soon convert other plants to satisfy demand.  Perdue Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride have taken similar action.


Brian Williams, senior-VP at Macquarie Group stated, “Food stores in our tri-state area have been cleaned out of all poultry products due to the ability of consumers to freeze them.”  He added, “Product lines in the poultry space are being diverted to retail in the place of restaurant capacity.”


There is concern that outbreaks of COVID-19 among workers may at some time restrict production so the additional Saturday shifts are in anticipation of possible disruption.

The USDA-FSIS has assured plant operators that they have contingency plans to maintain inspection, critical to operation of plants at capacity.


The pork and beef segments of the meat industry are also concerned over the availability of labor and have called for an emergency expansion of guest-worker visas as have truck farmers in Western states where labor is essential to tend and harvest crops.


Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane