The Impacts of COVID-19 on Poultry Producers and Consumers

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Virginia Tech


Following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, many laws and regulations were put in place to limit the spread of the disease. As a result, many industries were majorly affected by these regulations, including the poultry industry. This project studies the effects of the pandemic on both producers and consumers within the poultry industry to provide an understanding of the impacts to help prepare firms and individuals in case of future shocks. Based on producer case studies of Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms, and consumer surveys, common themes were established to understand the impact throughout the poultry production process. Financial statements of Tyson Foods, Pilgrim’s Pride, and Sanderson Farms were examined and the information gathered from the financial analysis matched what consumers shared via the consumer survey. Increased retail poultry prices, decreased quality, and limited availability of poultry products were the common themes noted.

Based on the results of this analysis, it is recommended that data from additional producers be analyzed, including poultry farmers who raise the birds for the poultry firms. Since the supply chain starts with the poultry producer, a better understanding of the pandemic’s impact on this level will help prepare responses throughout the supply chain in the event of future shocks. Many consumers stated that they still notice impacts from COVID-19 within the poultry industry over two years later. This project provides insights specific to the poultry industry for those studying COVID-19’s impact on food industries, and recommends best practices to consider in case of another major shock within the industry.