Smaller meat processors face backlogs as coronavirus continues to shutter large slaughterhouses

Small meat processors across the US and Canada report months-long bottlenecks as farmers search for abattoirs to process backlogged livestock.
calendar icon 27 May 2020
clock icon 5 minute read

"They're in a tough spot because they're small and they're at the bottom of the list to get that kill spot at these big plants," said Hoven, whose meat sales have tripled.

"They can't get that spot at the small plants" either.

The "new way to buy food"

At Uniontown, Alabama-based BDA Farm, sales have jumped more than 800 percent in two months, said partner Allen Williams.

"Initially it was panic buying, but it has gone far beyond that now," Williams said. "They're discovering an entirely new way to buy food and they're discovering it's pretty dad-gum convenient."

"We're selling out of absolutely everything, every single week. But we're running into a choke point - we can't get it all processed."

Back in Iowa, Zanker hangs up the phone. It's the tenth farmer to call that day.

Next, a woman calls asking if Stanhope Locker and Market has meat for sale. They do. The woman lives two hours away. Others have driven further, Zanker said.

"I had one person call, telling me they had gotten a hog for free," Zanker said. "I told them, 'There's nowhere to take them. Congratulations, you now have a pet.'"

Read more about this story on Reuters.

© 2000 - 2024 - Global Ag Media. All Rights Reserved | No part of this site may be reproduced without permission.