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Cyberattack on meat processing company JBS could further strain supply chain

Australia JBS Cyberattack
Posted at 2:53 PM, Jun 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-02 16:55:36-04

There are concerns about the nation’s meat supply due to a cyberattack at meat processing company JBS.

Like we saw during the Colonial Pipeline shutdown that created panic buying with gas, disruption in just about any industry is a concern.

“We have a very short supply of what we used to call safety stock and just about the entire supply chain today and whenever there is a disruption, we've only got about three days or so worth of supply to cover ourselves for what is an otherwise ongoing demand,” said Brian Long

Director of Supply Management Research at Grand Valley State University.

Long reminds us that grocery prices were already increasing due to pent-up demand.

He admits it’s hard to tell if meat prices will rise directly because of the cyberattack, but he does predict prices will continue to increase through the year.

Long says a worker shortage is still the biggest issue throughout the supply chain.

“We can't find enough truckers. We can't find enough containers in the case of overseas shipments. The ports are all backed up right now because of inspections,” said Long.

The U.S. still has the cheapest food prices in the world. The Department of Agriculture estimates beef prices will climb 1-2% this year, poultry as much as 1.5%, and pork 2-3%.