Domestic meat consumption rose again in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread disruptions to restaurants and food service, and the industry is watching to see if stimulus checks and the ongoing economic recovery can boost sales again this year.
California’s produce farmers and processors are confused and concerned by a raft of letters from Chinese importers, demanding they provide guarantees in writing that their fruit and vegetables present no risk of spreading COVID-19, something that is not considered a threat by U.S. or international health agencies.
While many large meat processing plants slowed down or temporarily closed due to the spread of COVID-19 among their employees, many small, local meat lockers are seeing a boom in demand for custom butchering.
Vice President Mike Pence says America's food supply chain is strong as he commends grocery store workers and meatpacking employees for their work at a meeting with food supply chain executives, government officials, and ag leaders in Iowa.
An executive order expected to be signed Tuesday at the White House would call on meatpacking plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic, but critics say it is forcing workers back into a dangerous environment.
Meat packers need federal inspectors to produce the pork chops, T-bone steaks and ground beef that consumers are counting on to be in grocery stores, but the USDA inspectors on the front line are being told they are on their own when it comes to securing masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19.