U.S. pork packer Smithfield offers ultra-cold vaccine storage

COVID-19 vaccines need storage at -20 C, -70 C

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Smithfield Foods, the world’s biggest pork processor, said on Thursday it had offered to help U.S. health officials distribute COVID-19 vaccines and store them in ultra-cold freezers that are in high demand to support a public vaccination campaign. U.S. states, cities and hospitals are scrambling to buy freezers that can safely […] Read more


China’s coronavirus testing chokes beef trade

Additional inspections, disinfections costly for importers

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beijing | Reuters — In a supermarket in downtown Beijing, refrigerator shelves normally filled with steak from around the world sit empty as tougher testing for the novel coronavirus creates supply bottlenecks and raises prices for importers. Fresh supplies of beef won’t arrive for days, a salesman at the Suning.com-owned Carrefour outlet told Reuters — […] Read more

Tyson suspends staff as suit alleges managers set up COVID pool

Reading Time: 2 minutes Chicago | Reuters — Tyson Foods said Thursday it suspended employees without pay and hired former U.S. attorney general Eric Holder to conduct an investigation in response to a wrongful death lawsuit that alleges managers at an Iowa pork plant took bets on how many employees would catch COVID-19. The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the […] Read more

Irritated trade partners push back on China’s coronavirus food tests

Canada rips testing as 'unjustified trade restrictions'

Reading Time: 3 minutes Beijing/Geneva | Reuters — Major food-producing countries are growing increasingly frustrated with China’s scrutiny of imported products and are calling on it to stop aggressive testing for the coronavirus, which some say is tantamount to a trade restriction. China says it has found the virus on the packaging of products from 20 countries including German […] Read more


Coronavirus kills 15,000 U.S. mink

Affected states aren't planning to cull

Reading Time: 3 minutes Chicago | Reuters — More than 15,000 mink in the United States have died of the coronavirus since August, and authorities are keeping about a dozen farms under quarantine while they investigate the cases, state agriculture officials said. Global health officials are eying the animals as a potential risk for people after Denmark last week […] Read more

Denmark tightens lockdown as mink cull devastates industry

WHO and ECDC experts support Denmark's strategy

Reading Time: 3 minutes Copenhagen | Reuters — Denmark announced strict new lockdown rules on Thursday in the north of the country after authorities discovered a mutated coronavirus strain in minks bred in the region, prompting a nationwide cull that will devastate the large pelt industry. The government said on Wednesday that it would cull all minks — up […] Read more

Denmark to cull entire farmed mink population

Coronavirus mutation spreads to people

Reading Time: 2 minutes Copenhagen | Reuters — Denmark will cull its mink population of up to 17 million after a mutation of the coronavirus found in the animals spread to humans, the prime minister said on Wednesday. Health authorities found virus strains in humans and in mink which showed decreased sensitivity against antibodies, potentially lowering the efficacy of […] Read more


Federal program to protect farms, workers from COVID-19 underway

'Highest-risk' farming operations to get priority, Bibeau says

Reading Time: 3 minutes Applications are now open for a federally-administered $35 million emergency on-farm support fund to help limit the impacts of COVID-19 on farms and on-farm workers. Aimed at farm workplaces and employee living quarters, the fund is being managed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC), but cost-shared with participating producers at a 50-50 level. Money is […] Read more

Canada to keep U.S. border curbs until pandemic much less serious

Reading Time: 2 minutes Ottawa | Reuters — Canada will maintain restrictions on non-essential travel with the United States until the coronavirus outbreak in both nations is much less serious, a senior government official said on Friday. The comments by federal Public Safety Minister Bill Blair suggest that the ban on non-essential travel could stay for months to come, […] Read more