Differential Impact of COVID-19 on the Beef and Pork Processing Systems in the United States and European Union

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Date
2023-07
Authors
Jacobs, Keri
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development
Abstract
The United States experienced catastrophic failure in its beef and pork value chains in April – June of 2020 because of plant closures due to COVID-19. At one point, 40% of beef and pork processing capacity was down, meat was rationed, and some hogs were euthanized. The European Union experienced several plant shutdowns but did not experience scarcity of meat or euthanize any animals during this period. More recently, the United States experienced a scarcity of baby formula because of a shutdown of a large plant in Michigan compounded by other supply chain problems. This report summarizes expert opinions collected during a trip to Ireland, the Netherlands, and Germany.
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