Marianne Landzettel explores how COVID-19 is impacting the US industrial livestock sector, in particular the slaughtering and processing facilities which have become increasingly centralised over the years. Her piece highlights the need for a shift away from intensive farming and towards relocalised and diversified food systems.
In the second half of March, when record numbers of deaths in New York City from COVID-19 dominated the headlines, all seemed fine in the Midwest. ‘Social distancing is our way of life,’ joked a farmer from Nebraska. But what may be true for farmers, certainly doesn’t apply to workers in slaughter facilities and meat packing plants.
The first facilities that had to be closed because of COVID-19 outbreaks were the JBS USA plant