HIGH RIVER, ALBERTA – China temporarily suspended beef exports from Cargill’s beef processing facility in High River, Alberta.

Daniel Sullivan, a Cargill spokesperson, said the company is not yet issuing a statement in response to China’s beef ban as it is unclear what the decision means. Despite the interruption in shipments to China, the company said its production at the plant, which is currently at 95% of capacity, will not change, adding that product designated for that country is a small percentage of its production.

“We care about local producers, trade and are working closely with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to determine next steps,” Sullivan said. “We recognize it is important for farmers and ranchers to have access to markets and are working to process cattle and honor our commitments to producers.”

The plant was closed for 14 days beginning in late April and resumed operations starting May 4 after implementing worker safety measures in response to an outbreak of the virus in the community, which included infection of workers at the plant.

In late June, exports from Tyson Foods Inc.’s poultry plant in Springdale, Ark., were banned by China following the release of the company’s COVID-19 test results from the facility. 

According a Reuters report, Cargill is still approved to export to Hong Kong, the United States, Japan and eight other countries.