Expect Changes At Meatpacking Facilities

butcher works in a slaughterhouse and cuts freshly slaughtered meat (beef and pork) for sale and further processing as sausage

Most in the Ag industry agree, the post-pandemic food supply-chain will look very different, starting with meatpacking and the way plants look and operate. American Farm Bureau Federation Executive Vice President Dale Moore said packing plants and livestock producers will also have to adjust after the destruction of maybe millions of animals that couldn’t be processed.

“Now, we’ve got to get the machine back up to speed, in order to supply the plant at whatever the new normal, new base is, for how quickly, how efficiently we can process these foods.”

And while a growing number of people and organization are calling for more automation, even robotic technology, that’s likely years away. But Moore easier, smaller changes can be made now, to protect workers.

“We’re seeing this in the packing and the processing plants,” Moore added, “in the packing and the handling shifts, fruit and vegetables, the dairy processing—an emphasis on making sure that workers are safe.”

Meat plant workers were still getting sick last month, despite plants reopening under the president’s executive order. The packing industry says there’s only so much they can do right now, to keep workers separated—thus the need for bigger changes after the pandemic.

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