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Red meat shortage reported in Australia

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COVID-19 isolation measures have caused acute short-term staffing shortages across the supply chain, including in meat processing plants.

Posted on Jan 13 ,12:01

Red meat shortage reported in Australia

A temporary shortage of meat in retail was reported in Australia, as the country is facing another COVID wave with large numbers of cases. COVID-19 isolation measures have caused acute short-term staffing shortages across the supply chain, including in meat processing plants, according to Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA). "There have been many reports of shopping centres across the country selling out of groceries and other essentials. This has been caused by staff shortages resulting from COVID-19 isolation rules for positive tests and close contacts.
As the number of COVID-19 cases climbs, so have the number of close contacts. Those that test positive and their associated close contacts have had to isolate, preventing them from working for up to a week.
It’s important to note these staff shortages are affecting all classes of grocery items and services, and is not a meat-specific issue. Industries particularly affected include hospitality, freight, healthcare, processing and retail," MLA informed through a press release.
Slaughter figures have also been impacted by the sanitary crisis. Last week, the national cattle slaughter was 41,678 head, 65% below the same week in 2020 and 41% below last year. In lambs, national slaughter last week was 216,931 head. This was 34% below last year’s weekly slaughter. However, these low slaughter numbers are also to be expected early in the year when some plants are still shut due to standard Christmas closures.

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