Meatpackers deny workers benefits for Covid-19 deaths
- Six workers have died from Covid-19 at JBS USA’s slaughterhouse in Greeley, CO. The Greeley plant was one of the earliest and deadliest coronavirus outbreaks in packing plants across the U.S.
- One of those workers who died was 78-year-old Saul Sanchez. His family claims that before Sanchez fell ill, he only left home to work on the fabrication line at the packing plant and to attend weekly church services.
- Sanchez’s family filed for workers’ compensation benefits but they were denied by JBS, along with those filed by the families of two other Greeley workers who died of Covid-19, according to lawyers handling the claims.
- JBS denied the family’s claims because they believe the employees’ Covid-19 deaths were not work-related.
- In Minnesota, where JBS had a major Covid-19 outbreak, 930 workers’ compensation claims were filed as of September 11th. According to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry, none of those claims were accepted; 717 were rejected and 213 are still under review
- According to Utah’s Labor Commission, seven JBS workers in the state filed claims related to Covid-19 as of August 1st, and all were denied
- In Colorado, 69 percent of 2,294 worker compensation claims for Covid-19 had been denied as of September 12th.
- Ben Roth, a workers’ compensation attorney, said meat-processing companies have motivation to deny every claim because admitting they caused just one infection can expose the firms to liability for all workers contracting Covid-19.
Germany finds two more African swine fever cases in wild boar
- Germany’s federal agriculture ministry announced on Thursday that two more cases of African swine fever (ASF) have been confirmed in wild boars in the eastern German state of Bradenburg.
- The total number of confirmed ASF cases in Germany has now reached 40 since the first case was discovered on September 10th.
- All of these cases have been found in wild boars, no farms pigs have yet to be affected.
- China, along with other buyers’ halted German pork imports after the first case was discovered.
- Further examination of the remains of the first wild boar show that the animal most likely died from the disease eight to ten weeks ago, proving that ASF has been in Germany since early July.
- German pig pries fell sharply after the first case of ASF was discovered, but have remain unchanged on hopes that Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark and other EU countries will increase pork sales to China and other Asian regions to compensate for lost German supply, opening up market demand inside the EU that Germany would be able to meet.
Beyond Meat triples distribution of plant-based burgers at Wal-Mart stores
- As of next week, Beyond Meat’s plant-based burgers will be available in more than 2,400 Wal-Mart stores. This expansion will triple the amount of stores that carry Beyond Meat’s products.
- Since the company launched its products in Wal-Mart stores back in 2015, they now carry the Beyond Burger, Beyond Sausage and Beyond Breakfast patties.
- All these products are made from peas, mung bean and rice.
- Beyond Meat offers products for sale in 112,000 retail and foodservice locations in 85 countries.
Beef export sales up
- Beef net sales for 2020 as of last week were 24,700 metric tons, up 37 percent from the previous week and up 67 percent from the prior 4-week average.
- These substantial increases came mostly from Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Mexico.
- Beef exports were noted at 16,600 metric tons as of last week, down 5 percent from the previous week, but up 2 percent from the prior 4-week average.
- Primary destinations included South Korea, Japan, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Boxed beef prices
- Choice boxed beef: $218.98 (+1.24)
- Select boxed beef: $207.62 (+0.08)