The coronavirus pandemic has hit us hard and we can see the effects in practically every industry. The supply chains are under a shock, the industries are closing down and there is a shortage of workforce in the industries that are operational. The food supply chain is one of the most crucial supply chains, is under a lot of pressure. The government allowed the essential businesses to carry on and food manufacturing is one of them.
The food industry, even though it is considered essential, is not fully operational. There are lots of barriers that they have to face. Taking an example of Tyson Foods, it is one of the biggest meat processors in the country with over 100,000 employees. They have closed down their pork plants in Waterloo, Iowa, and Logansport, Indiana. According to their representatives, the plants had to close down so that the workers in those facilities can be tested for coronavirus.
The shutting down of meat processing plants has been just a part of the problem. The farmers who are raising millions of animals such as chickens, pigs, cattle, turkey, etc. have nowhere to sell them, as most of the meat processing plants are not operational. This leads to another problem of food shortage in grocery stores. Not only is there a looming shortage of meat, but the animals also require feed and in order to sustain the farms, these animals will have to be depopulated and lots of meat will go to waste.
Upon inquiring from the workers of meat processing plants about the reason behind their closures, it was revealed that social distancing in meat processing plants is practically impossible and the workers aren’t provided with enough safety gear, so the chances of them getting sick increase tenfold. It is evident from the fact that almost half of the cases in Iowa were related to food manufacturing plants.
Food manufacturers are offering benefits in terms of bonuses to front-line workers and food distributors so they can keep their plants operational. Another thing they can do is consider the use of Food ERP. The food manufacturers are limited on resources and if actions aren’t taken swiftly, the situation will only get worse. Software like Food ERP will help food manufacturers to utilize their limited resources in a much productive and efficient way. The meat processing plants are hitting the hardest and if we wish to have meat available in the market, we have to start taking steps in the right direction.