Hackers Could Drive The Cost Of Your Steak Up
Another day, another hack... and another business that has to deal with rebuilding its systems. In this case the company was JBS Foods, one of the largest meat producers in the world. The company handles roughly 20% of beef production in the US according to the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which also includes a plant here in the Texas Panhandle in Cactus. When you handle that kind of share, what's bad for you is bad for the industry. Ultimately this gets passed on to you and me when we buy the meat for that next big cook out.
Times Were Already Tough
Meat prices were already up across the board due to Covid Shutdowns that hit roughly 60% of plants across the country with the worst of it in April of last year. before the hack prices were starting to recover but on average we are still 3% higher on beef, 2% on pork and 1% on chicken according to numbers from the government. Here in the Panhandle a drought hasn't helped things much either. Hay production was down earlier this year at a critical time for headers leading many to thin out their numbers leading to less production.
Hacks Cost Money
There's no doubt that JBS is going to have to spend money to get things back online across the company. It's not clear weather they will pay to have their systems given back to them but they do have backups in place that they are working to get back online. Timing is critical, if they can do this in a quick manner, they should be able to get back up to speed quickly and the market may not feel the bump. Just in case though, I'd say budget a couple extra bucks when you hit up the grocery store or butcher for that cookout.