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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.

 

These incidents reveal the fragility in our nation’s food supply and a downside in sourcing so much of our meats from significant processing plants hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Putting all our beef in a few baskets is not a safe bet.

At Grazr, we’re betting on America’s many capable custom processors to enrich their local communities with safe, fresh meats in various cuts.

 

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