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The Covid-19 round-up

The news and data you need to know about the coronavirus outbreak's impact on the food industry



US meat giant Smithfield Foods has revealed it made an underlying operating loss of $72m in its second quarter as the company was forced to spend $350m on measures to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic. Smithfield, owned by China's WH Group, is the US' largest pork producer.

Danish Crown to halt operations at Ringsted site

Denmark-based meat giant Danish Crown has announced it is closing its domestic slaughterhouse in Ringsted for a week after a Covid-19 outbreak amongst employees there. In all, nearly 150 employees at the site, some 60km from Copenhagen, have now contracted coronavirus.


Reuters has revealed one of Brazilian meat giant BRF's plants accounted for around 29% of Covid-19 cases at slaughterhouses in Brazil's Parana state. Quoting data from Parana health authorities, it said BRF's Toledo unit had 1,138 confirmed out of 3,979 Covid-19 cases at all the state's slaughterhouses up until 24 July.

Bakkavor to up testing at UK plant 

Private-label supplier Bakkavor has seen cases of Covid-19 rise at one of its factories in England and will this week test all staff at the site. All 1,600 employees and 90 agency staff at the company's facility in Newark will be tested.

Unilever shuts India plant amid Covid-19 infections

Unilever has closed a factory in India after staff at the facility tested positive for Covid-19. The FMCG giant told just-food that workers at the plant in the northern city of Haridwar had been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus.

General Mills to increase third-party manufacturing 

US food major General Mills, the owner of the Yoplait yogurt brand, plans to increase the use of co-manufacturers to keep up with the elevated demand from the coronavirus pandemic. The Minnesota-based firm will expand the use of third-party manufacturers by around 20%.

New measures cut Australian meat production

Meat production in Victoria, Australia is to be scaled back as part of new lockdown measures after a jump in Covid-19 cases the state. For six weeks from 7 August, meat-processing plants in Victoria will not be allowed to have more than two-thirds of their workforce on-site at any time.

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