Four meatpacking companies control an estimated 80 percent of US beef processing: Tyson, Cargill, Brazilian-owned JBS, and Brazilian-majority-owned National Beef. Approximately 29 percent of the total being foreign-owned corporations.
Three meatpackers control an estimated 59 percent of US pork slaughter: Chinese-owned Smithfield, JBS, and Tyson. Approximately 44 percent of the total being majority of foreign-owned corporations.
The situation lends to accusations of industry price-fixing and other supply chain vulnerabilities.
An August 2019 fire shut down Tyson’s meat plant in Holcomb, Kansas, processing 6 percent of the nation’s cattle.
An October 2019 E. coli outbreak prompted the recall of imported Canadian beef from 10 states.
In October 2018, JBS recalled nearly 7 million pounds of beef due to a possible salmonella outbreak.