MIDLAND, Texas (ABC Big 2/FOX 24)- Brazil based meat producer JBS was hit by a cyberattack this week, forcing them to shutdown and creating fears of a meat shortage in the United States. While some were affected by the shutdown, many local butchers get their meat locally, so they weren’t affected by the attack.
John Scharbauer with Midland Meat Co. says that they are one of the larger meat producers in the world, which is the reason for the concern; however he says that people in the basin should not be worried. “I keep an eye on those big packers, they kind of control the markets. I don’t think we’re directly going to be affected by it.”
Midland Meat Co. sources all of their meat from their own ranches. They even have a ranch in Martin County, just miles outside of Midland. “We’re Texas made, we’re Texas bred, Texas fed, we process here in Texas,” Scharbauer says.
Just down Big Spring Street is another local butcher shop, Tall City Meat Market. Owner Michael Loya sources his meat from south Texas and says his supply chain is running smoothly. “As long as you shop local, you’re not going to have an issue with the meat shortage. No shortage for the weekend or any time to come here.”
While shopping local, prices may be higher than you would find in a grocery store. For Loya, the price difference is based off of quality. “We are gonna be about 20% higher than your big box companies,” Loya says. “You’re getting a quality product that you’re not going to get in the grocery stores.”
Scharbauer says that while you are paying for better quality, the price of feed for cattle has risen as well. “You know corn’s never been this high, our feed costs are up nearly 40%, 50% in some cases. You’re seeing less and less producers producing beef, because it costs too much to produce, so you’re seeing a price increase,” says Scharbauer.
Both say that the shortage should not be affecting weekend grillers in our area. H-E-B even says that they weren’t affected by the JBS shutdown. As of Thursday, JBS is fully operational. “I’m sure there will be beef on my grill this weekend,” says Loya. “There always is.”