Meatpacking industry seeing supply and demand issues

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ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Bryon Stephenson, owner of The Shed Market said they have a small store so, the decision to keep the lobby closed down instead of allowing 25 percent in fits their set-up.   

“Our capacity is 48 people so that would mean only 12 people in at a time,” he said, “so we felt like it’s the right decision for us, our business, and our customers, just to keep everybody safe.”  

Stephenson said he’s keeping an eye out to see when the governor increases the capacity, but there’s a bigger problem on the horizon.    

“The meat prices coming from the packer plants are going up at staggering rates, they’re doubling in some cases,” he said.  

A visit to the grocery store speaks for itself he said, usually with one to two limits on meat products. Because even the meatpacking industry isn’t immune to the woes of the pandemic.   

“They just don’t have the people to do that,” he said. “They’ve got a lot of sick employees that have had the virus and they just can’t come to work.”   

And over the last few years he said, larger corporations have bought up the smaller meatpacking facilities putting them into one factory.  

“And it’s really rough right now. So, when they have a tough time like this there’s not enough packing plants around to take care of everybody,” he said.    

So, start to expect higher meat prices, across the board.   

“The price of our briskets, our steaks, all that stuff, ground beef is going to double within the next week,” he said.    

It changes every day, but he says the suppliers foresee the shortage lasting for the next two weeks to a month.  

President Donald Trump signed the defense production act ordering meat and poultry plants to remain open during the pandemic to keep the supply chain intact.

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