CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) -Leaders in the beef industry say there is no shortage.
We continue to have trouble getting our hands on things like toilet paper and cleaning products, due to high demand but experts and specific restaurants have warned about meat shortages because of disruptions in the supply chain.
At Rudy’s Quality Meats in Willowick, a lot of their cases were pretty empty early this week.
They said they were having trouble replenishing pork and chicken products.
They are getting inventory, they say, but it’s taking a few days longer than normal.
“Right now what’s happening is, we have this tremendous surge going on in grocery stores. The last two weeks retail sales versus a year ago have been up 35-37%,” said Bruce Cobb, Executive Vice President of Production at Certified Angus Beef Brand.
His take is that the supply chain is under pressure, but not broken.
“Capacity is pinched. We’re having to slow it down to accommodate workers’ safety, because that’s the priority. We have a bit of a pinch adjusting to a new challenge.” he said.
There is no shortage of product when it comes to beef, they say. It’s just delayed, and not for long.
“The big slowdown is behind us. That was about two weeks ago. Last week production increased. Production is increasing this week. That supply chain takes about 7-10 days from processing capacity in to the supply chain and distribution to retails stores,” Cobb said.
Nicole Erceg, Assistant Director of Commucations with Certified Angus Beef, likens the situation to a traffic jam at a toll booth.
“We’re still moving product through the system, just at a slower rate than normal. As we see more of these packing plants being able to expand their capacity, it’s like opening another lane on the freeway,”she said.
Erceg says now is not the time to fill your shopping cart, but instead buy only what you need because meat will be available.
“We’re going to see more product available as we get closer to Memorial Day weekend,” Cobb said.
Erceg says buying more than normal will only contribute to the pressure placed on the industry.
The restrictions in sales that you’re likely seeing is in fresh meat, but you should not have an issue with the same quality meat in frozen sections, according to Cobb.