As it travels around the globe the coronavirus is disrupting large parts of society and the economy. Covid-19 has not left the poultry production chain untouched either, infecting workers, disrupting the supply chain and impacting demand. Poultry World reports. With the spread of the new and deadly virus, ‘normal’ has flown out of the window when it comes to the food supply chain. During the first few weeks of the outbreak consumers were seen to be hoarding toilet paper for no obvious reason and eggs and meat with good reason. A surge in demand to ensure there was food on the table left supermarket shelves empty and suppliers struggling to keep up, while trying to cope with the virus themselves.
EGG SHORTAGES- In Canada, the US and Europe, the Covid-19 pandemic led to ‘panic buying’ of groceries to stockpile food against possible future food shortages, also the closure of many restaurants. These factors have greatly impacted both the egg and chicken sectors. There are reports, for example, that in many areas of the US workers at major chicken producers, such as Tyson Food, Sanderson Farms and Perdue Farms, have been forced to work overtime to meet higher production levels.
At some stores in Canada eggs have been sold out at various times. Some of this is also due to panic buying but the Federation des producteurs d’œufs du Quebec (FPOQ) explained that temporary egg shortages have occurred in certain grocery stores in that province due to restaurant closures and changes in the egg distribution channels as a result. In European countries too, consumers found supermarket shelves bare, even in a period when extra eggs were being delivered due to the Easter peak demand.
However, once packers had shifted deliveries from their closed food-service customers to supermarkets the situation soon normalised again in the US and Canada. United Egg Producers (UEP, the main egg farmers’ association in the US) issued a statement saying it was “aware some Americans have faced empty store shelves and egg cases early in this outbreak, and we understand you have concerns. UEP’s farmer members are committed to producing a consistent supply of eggs.”
VIRUS HITS POULTRY PROCESSING PLANTS- It was not easy to make sure that the supply of poultry-meat and eggs was sufficient to meet demand as the virus hit the poultry chain as well. Dozens of meat-processing plants have been forced to close temporarily as the industry struggles to contain the spread of the coronavirus among employees who often have to stand side-by-side while cutting and packing poultry. Meat giant Tyson foods warned at the end of April that the food supply chain was in danger of collapsing. Board chairman John Tyson fears that millions of animals will have to be destroyed due to the closure of processing facilities. And Tyson is not alone in that: since April the world’s largest meat companies – including Smithfield Foods, Cargill and JBS USA – have had to shut down operations in processing plants in North America as workers fell ill. FOR MORE DETAILS PLEASE READ THE FUL ARTICLE ON :