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Where’s the beef? Shorten the supply chain with plant-based meat

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Companies like Impossible Foods for example, can produce one million pounds of meat alternatives in about 68,000 square feet, using much less water and human labor.

JASMINE REIMER: The pandemic has exposed what Chase Purdy called the “Achilles heel of the modern US meat system”. Purdy’s article claims that just a single meat processing plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota is responsible for 5% of US pork production. In April 2020 that plant and a few adjacent others shut down due to coronavirus, resulting in a thirty-six percent decrease in the slaughter of cows and thirty-seven percent decrease in pigs, as reported by the US Department of Agriculture data. In addition, the traditional meat supply chain is crowded with middlemen and connecting links making it vulnerable when one of them falters or changes…

A recent Nielsen report revealed (via The Wall Street Journal) that faux meat sales surged 279 percent the week ending March 14th. This is not surprising given the trouble COVID-19 created for meat manufacturers and associated logistics firms… While there is health appeal to eating synthetic and veggie-meats, another unexpected by-product could be hardier, shorter supply chains… the burgeoning plant-based meat industry has yet to implement a permanent supply chain model. This creates an opportunity to avoid the pitfalls revealed in the traditional meat supply line during COVID-19…

Companies like Impossible Foods for example, can produce about one million pounds of meat alternatives in about 68,000 square feet, using far less water and human labor. Cell-based meats require only a cell production line, liquid nutrients and a bioreactor for growth. Each facility can be operated by about five workers who monitor production and cleanliness… With shorter supply lines, automated tools, and collaboration between small and medium-sized businesses meat alternative brands can help ensure faster, consistent and more cost-efficient distribution of food. SOURCE…

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