A Beefy Situation
A cyberattack on the world’s largest meat producer could be bad news for farmers and consumers alike as the world’s largest slaughterhouse is shut down. Over the Memorial Day weekend, Brazilian based meat producer JBS S.A. paused operations at its five largest beef plants in the U.S., wiping out nearly one-fifth of beef production in America—that’s a lot of beef.
In addition to beef plant closures in America, JBS paused operations in Australia and Canada. No one knows just how many meat plants globally have been affected by the cyber-attack, as JBS has not released the full details yet.
The shutdowns are delaying transactions with consumers and suppliers, highlighting the vulnerability of the nation’s food supply chain to cyberattacks like these. The attack also underscores the importance of diversifying America’s beef production.
80% of the beef in America comes from just four meat producers – JBS, Tyson, Cargill, and National Beef Packing. JBS is the largest meat producer in America, producing 23% of the nation’s meat capacity. Ever heard the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in one basket?”
It’s unclear if the attack will affect meat prices in grocery stores, as retailers don’t always want to raise prices on their customers. However, if the shutdowns last a long time, consumers could start to see the prices of their favorite meats change.
The JBS cyber-attack comes just three weeks after hackers targeted Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the United States. What industry will hackers target next?
I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.