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

Small Producers Imperiled By COVID-19 Restrictions


While it is obvious that mainstream broiler integrators are able to respond effectively to restrictions and disruptions caused by COVID-19, small-scale independent producers of chicken for niche markets are encountering problems.  Disruptions in their supply chains and markets have reduced cash flow creating difficulties in meeting payrolls and purchasing feed and chicks.  In the absence of working capital some producers will be forced to close up shop.

The plight of small producer-processors points to the financial risks inherent in state and federal policies promoting and supporting "family farms' producing high-priced product distributed locally to a limited market.

Depending on the duration of the current COVID-19 crisis, many of these operations may cease production to the detriment of their owners. Their passing will hardly be noticed in the context of commercial production, distribution and sale. This is especially the case with companies such as Perdue Farms marketing a range of specialty brands, Pilgrim’s Pride distributing from their acquisition GNP and mid-sized producers including Bell and Evans that collectively serve upscale consumers.

Copyright © 2020 Simon M. Shane