Local meat processors struggling to keep up

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Local meat processors struggling to keep up

As impacts from COVID-19 sway consumer buying patterns and shut down large meat processing plants, local custom processors are struggling to keep up.

Tom Eickman recently took over his family’s third generation custom meat processing business in northern Illinois.  He tells Brownfield things have not been the same since their Governor announced the closure of restaurants.

“Almost overnight when he closed the restaurants, all of our wholesale accounts dried up.”

But he says business picked up rapidly on the retail side.

“We are booked up at this point through the end of December for our custom processing. We are still producing more product to feed into our retail but at this point it is becoming a daunting task to try keeping it stocked.”

And as famers are forced to abort and euthanize animals, he says his biggest concern is the meat supply in six months.

“If everyone is back up and operating, will we still have a shortage at that time because we do not have the livestock on the ground.”

Eickman says other nearby processors are in the same boat- they would like to move more product through, but their capacity is maxed out.

Interview with Tom Eichman

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