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C&S Wholesale Grocers CEO Michael Duffy warned on “Fox & Friends First” Tuesday that shoppers will soon see more instances of meat being out of stock in grocery stores due to disruptions in the supply chain amid the coronavirus outbreak.
“What we’re seeing is with consumer demand up almost 50 percent on average the last six weeks and the cumulative impact of all the plant closures and shift reductions reducing production capacity by 30 to 40 percent, we will see more out of stocks at retail probably beginning next week,” Duffy said.
He added, “[that] does not mean we will be out of proteins, but we will see more out of stocks.”
Duffy made the comments as several meat processing plants, including Tyson Foods, had to close following outbreaks of COVID-19, or because of staffing shortages caused by the pandemic.
The chairman of Tyson Foods has issued a stark warning to Americans following the shuttering of the plants across the country: “The food supply chain is breaking.”
“In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue,” Tyson claimed in an open letter published as a full-page ad in Sunday’s New York Times, Washington Post and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. “Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation.”
“It will have a devastating impact to our farmers,” Duffy said.
He noted that “the slaughterhouses are backing up, which means animals have nowhere to go and unfortunately that means some of them will be euthanized.
“It will be huge economic blow to our farmers and it’s heartbreaking when you see the long lines at food banks with miles of cars waiting for food and then on the other hand euthanizing the animals or dumping milk,” he continued.
On Tuesday, a White House official said President Trump will use the Defense Production Act to ensure that meat processing facilities stay open and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees.
Fox News’ Michael Bartiromo and Fox Business’ Blake Burman contributed to this report.