Local businesses say JBS cyber-attack isn’t the only thing causing meat shortage

U.S. & World

AUGUSTA, G.A. (WJBF) – As operations at JBS facilities across the country re-start, consumers will be watching prices and availability locally. Still, local vendors say the cyberattack is not the biggest issue.

Lanier’s meat market owner says they’re still trying to recover from the meat shortage brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Fortunately, this one does not look like it will be as severe as we thought,” said Wayne Lanier, owner of Lanier Meat Market.

Tuesday, officials from JBS meat production said in a statement, they were the target of an organized cyber-attack. As a result, the company shut down all plant operations.

Lanier said he found out about Sunday’s cyber attack on Tuesday.

“Yesterday, they were thinking that they maybe affected for about a week or two, after talking with many people this morning they don’t think it’s going to be as bad as they thought,” said Lanier.

Lanier was expecting to see a spike in meat prices and less options, but he says that was a problem before the cyber attack at JBS.

“Meat prices have about doubled over the last three months,” he said.

Lanier says there’s a shortage of all types of meat. Not just beef.

“There’s been many times where half of the stuff I order is marked out, or I order something and I don’t get it,” he said.

He says that chicken has tripled in its prices in just the past few months. John Sampson is the owner of Chef Redd’s BBQ, and he’s experiencing that same problem.

“It’s hard to get certain products, especially wings, and everything else you get, the price has gone up so much, that your basically getting enough just to keep going,” said Sampson.

Sampson says the price of meat has shot up so much, that it’s cutting into his profit.

Sampson said,”Covid caused a couple of a different chicken plants to close down and that created the problem.”

Customers say they’ve noticed the spike too.

“Ground beef has gone up at least five dollars, pork chops have gone up, bacon has gone up, it’s really hard,” said Melvin Hill, a customer at Lanier’s meat market.

Lanier says he hopes as holidays like the 4th of July approaches, we’ll see things return to normal in the meat market.

Dr. Michael Nowatkowski is an Associate Professor at the School of Computer and Cyber Sciences. He breaks down how ransomware cyberattacks happen to major companies.

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