Another major food producer is joining the long list of facilities shutting down or experiencing mysterious mishaps just when grocery prices are soaring, and our food chain is under more pressure than ever.
According to local authorities, George’s Prepared Food is closing down its Caryville, Tennessee, facility after operating there for decades. More than 200 jobs will be lost once the plant closes its doors in September, according to WBIR-TV.
“We just got the notice of the actual letter, that’s required for the Tennessee Department of Labor today, identifying 218 workers are affected,” Campbell County Mayor E.L. Morton told the media on Tuesday.
Morton and Caryville Mayor Robert Stooksbury are worried that the plant that has employed locals for decades will leave a terrible hole in the area’s jobs-sphere.
“The biggest thing is the employees,” Mayor Stooksbury added. “Over 200 people losing their jobs is never a good thing at all.”
Stooksbury also said that the closing came “out of the blue” as no one had heard any rumblings that the plant was suffering or on the verge of failure.
Morton noted that his administration has already sent inquiries to other food producers in the hopes that one of them might come in and invest in the facility.
This food producer in Caryville is far from alone. American food suppliers have experienced a strange rash of catastrophes causing them to shut down, or temporarily halt production just as America’s food chain is more vulnerable than ever.
California was just confronted with news that Smithfield Foods will shut down its Vernon, California, plant and will also scale back all its other operations in the West Coast state.
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Smithfield “will cease all harvest and processing operations in Vernon, California in early 2023 and, at the same time, align its hog production system by reducing its sow herd in its Western region,” the company said this month.
Companies shutting plants down and moving business elsewhere is one thing, but many other facilities have suffered a strange series of fires, explosions and other mishaps that seem to be mounting by the week.
During the first week of June, for instance, seven major farm erupted in fire across the United States, causing disruptions in food production.
Destructive fires swept over farms in Ohio, Rhode Island, New York, Minnesota and more.
There have also been a number of stock deaths that have put a dent in the food chain.
At the end of May, up to 60,000 chickens were killed at a chicken ranch in Minnesota. And, perhaps even more shockingly, up to 10,000 fat cattle died across the western U.S. during a massive heat wave two weeks ago.
In addition, only days ago, a truck fire sent more than 44,000 pounds of peanut butter up in flames on an Illinois highway.
Then there have been the massive recalls of food that took millions of pounds of food out of groceries.
In May, a major chicken producer was forced to recall more than half a million pounds of pre-cooked chicken products over fears of food-borne illness.
With the addition of global events such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine — a major food provider — and the resulting sanctions against Russia — a major exporter of fertilizers — the food chain is in peril all across the world, as even President Joe Biden has recognized.
The war there has disrupted important food supplies. Combined, Russia and Ukraine account for about 30 percent of the world’s wheat, according to The New York Times, as well as 17 percent of corn, 32 percent of barley and 75 percent of sunflower seed oil.
Whether food production setbacks are caused by nefarious acts, unfortunate natural elements or is simply a chain of unrelated accidents, all this disruption could not be coming at a worse time for America or the world.