Tyson boosts meat delivery as coronavirus panic clears grocery store shelves

Tyson, Sanderson Farms shift poultry production amid grocery store shortages with COVID-19 spread

Tyson is assuring Americans that there is no shortage of meat and is increasing its efforts to restock grocery store shelves amid the widespread coronavirus outbreak.

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America’s largest meat producer is responding to empty store shelves at grocery stores and nationwide restaurant closures by shifting some of its meat production from food service to retail to satisfy increased demand.

Tyson is shifting chicken, beef and pork production from foodservice to retail. (iStock).

“The food supply in the U.S. is more than sufficient and we’re taking a variety of measures to meet the shifting increase in demand now, and to ensure a steady supply moving forward. There is plenty of food available,” Tyson Foods President Dean Banks wrote in a company blog post on Tuesday.

Tyson, which has more than 100 production plants in the U.S., said it would shift production for meats like chicken, beef and pork products originally designated for restaurant supply, to packages suitable for grocery stores.

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TSNTYSON FOODS INC.62.03-1.72-2.70%

Banks said Tyson has shifted production in the past, but not at this level of scale.

“While we’ve made moves like this before, this is the most significant shift we’ve ever initiated,” Banks said.

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Customers have flooded grocery stores as restaurants close in an effort to contain the spread of the virus. As a result, there have been shortages of fresh meat and canned items in addition to hand sanitizer and household items like paper towels and toilet paper across the country.

Meanwhile, Sanderson Farms, the third-largest poultry producer in the U.S., also reassured consumers on Tuesday that it will continue to process and ship its poultry products. The company said all of its 12 poultry processing facilities and its prepared chicken plant are operating normally and the company said it has not experienced a supply chain disruption.

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