It sure seems like America’s just-in-time food production & supply system is under severe strain, and it will be like this for weeks…
(by Half Dollar) One of my main concerns was food price inflation as we moved from the end of 2019 and into 2020.
A reason I was concerned about food price inflation stemmed from covering so much food supply disruptive weather throughout 2019.
I mean, there was epic, historic flooding in the United States, with crops and livestock devastated in several states, and there were problems in the fall with those pesky arctic blasts.
Also in 2019, it was widely thought that India was to have a comeback rice harvest season, although last year’s rice harvest was not good.
And then who can forget the countless articles about Pig Ebola, or whatever you want to call it, with some estimating that 25% of the global pig supply had to be slaughtered and disposed of?
Enter 2020, and the news quickly surfaced of locust plagues devastating crops throughout the continent of Africa.
But wait, there’s more!
That’s right, because, well, nevermind.
Everybody knows what happened next.
Here’s the thing: Just like rational, thinking persons agree that the financial system was falling apart before Covid-19 burst onto the scene, so too anybody who has been following the food supply issues knows there were already inflationary pressures building.
Let’s also not forget we’ve been coming off of an absolutely brutal commodities bear market, which some would even call a super-cycle.
Of course, the ever increasing cost of servicing debt, fees and taxation requires an ever shrinking cost for the basics, lest the Deep State Globalists take less of a cut for themselves.
But I digress.
Here’s my overall point: There were already problems with the food industry before Covid-19.
Covid-19 is making matters worse.
Because now we’re talking about a major artery of the food supply – food processing.
You see, very few people produce their own food at all, and while it’s debatable if not philosophical relief during times afforded for thinking as to whether this will change over time, suffice to say that even people who do produce food do not produce all of the different types of food they eat.
More importantly, most of the world, and certainly the developed world, the United States included, depends on the processing of food so that it goes from farm, or slaughterhouse, or wherever, to household refrigerator and pantry.
Today, we learn of a new disruption in that supply chain: Hormel.
ROCHELLE (WREX) — The Ogle County Health Department is ordering the immediate closure Hormel’s Rochelle Foods facility because of a COVID-19 outbreak.
As of Friday, 24 cases of COVID-19 have been linked to the facility in Ogle County.
A release sent by the department says the plant has 48 hours to comply with the order and that it will be in effect for 2 weeks.
“Although many essential businesses are open and operating, we will not tolerate them risking the health and safety of their employees and our community during this pandemic or any other time,” said Rochelle Mayor John Bearrows.
Of the 24 cases linked to the plant, 19 of the cases are in Ogle County, three are in Whiteside, and two are in Winnebago County.
“Due to the outbreak, it is necessary to take immediate action to protect the community from this dangerous and infectious disease,” the release said.
Of note is that in this Hormel example, we’re not talking about Detroit where the situation is generally referred to as a “hot spot”, much less New York City, but rather, places that seem to fall in line with the “get back to work” meme, which has now morphed into the “re-open America” meme.
And some video news coverage, from Eyewitness News WTVO WQRF
It is noteworthy that the report above mentions how there are lawyers involved.
Translation: The food production industry is experiencing inflation through the additional costs of regulation, legal compliance (defense?), sanitation, loss of productivity, and other things that were previously not paid for to the degree in which they are now.
This is only the latest plant closure news.
Smithfield Foods was already having problems, and late last week we learned of the company closing down two more plants, one indefinitely and one for two weeks.
From The Hill:
Pork processor Smithfield Foods is temporarily closing two more plants, one in Cudahy, Wis., and one in Martin City, Mo., due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Both plants have a small number of employees who have tested positive for the coronavirus, The Associated Press reported. The Missouri plant is closed indefinitely, and the Wisconsin plant is closed for two weeks.
The Missouri plant, which produces spiral hams, receives raw material from Smithfield’s Sioux Falls, S.D. facility. A worker at that plant, which closed indefinitely on April 12, has died from coronavirus and overall it has 518 infected employees and 126 infected people connected to employees.
Additionally, in that article from The Hill, we learn about other plant closures:
The Missouri plant is expected to have at least six employees with coronavirus and the Wisconsin plant has at least two. John Eiden, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1473, raised concerns about protections for workers at the Wisconsin plant in a letter to Smithfield’s human resources department in March.
Other meat processors like Tysons Food, Cargill and JBS have also closed plants.
If it is true that the United States runs off of a just-in-time food production and supply system, then it’s only logical that we’re about to have a near-term, immediate food supply shock.
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t have something for my fellow tin-foil hatters, so here’s some food for thought: Food can be a weapon.
No puns intended.
The question is, will food be weaponized, and if so, then where, and against who?