GREELEY, COLO. — Following the wide-ranging cybersecurity attack on JBS SA servers that support North American and Australian IT Systems, several company locations posted disruptions or delays.
JBS SA in Brazil said it was informed by JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride that both companies have made significant progress in resolving the cyberattack. Operations in Mexico and the United Kingdom were not impacted and conducted business as normal. The company said the vast majority of plants would be operational on June 2.
“Our systems are coming back online and we are not sparing any resources to fight this threat,” said Andre Nogueira, chief executive officer of JBS USA. “We have cybersecurity plans in place to address these types of issues and we are successfully executing those plans.”
Multiple media reports stated that beef processing plants in Brooks, Alberta, and Green Bay, Wis., did not have production on June 1.
Initially a Pilgrim’s Pride processing plant in Nacodoches, Texas, owned by JBS, was set to be closed, but later announced on its Facebook page that it would just delay operations by three hours.
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) Local 7 in Colorado also announced on its Facebook page that A and B kill and fabrication shifts were cancelled on June 1.
“As the union for JBS meatpacking workers across the country, UFCW is pleased JBS is working around the clock to resolve this and UFCW is urging JBS to ensure that all of its meatpacking workers receive their contractually guaranteed pay as these plant shutdowns continue,” said Marc Perrone, president of UFCW International. “UFCW is calling on JBS to work with state and federal leaders to help get JBS meatpacking workers back on the job as soon as possible so these essential workers can continue to keep our country’s food supply fully operational and secure as this pandemic continues.”
A report from Bloomberg said beef processing facilities were also closed or cancelled shifts in Utah, Texas, Nebraska and Iowa.
Later in the day, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that JBS notified the Biden administration of the cyberattack and offered assistance to the meat processor. During a press briefing, Jean-Pierre said a ransom demand came from a criminal organization likely based in Russia.
“I want to personally thank the White House, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Department of Agriculture, and the Australian and Canadian governments for their assistance over the last two days,” Nogueira said.
Senator Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) issued a statement on the breach and the possible effects it could have on agriculture.
“It’s alarming to see another cyberattack against a crucial supply chain. JBS has taken action to resolve this issue,” Fischer said. “However, the fact that nearly 20% of US meat processing capacity can go offline due a single event could be a hit to Nebraska’s economy, the cattle market as a whole, and consumers across America. I will continue to monitor this closely as more facts come to light.”
The Daily Livestock Report offered analysis on the situation and if there would be a long-term impact on the supply chain and markets.
“Much is unknown at this time and it makes no sense to speculate on the material impact this will have on cattle,” the report said. “But even one day of disruption will significantly impact the beef market and wholesale beef prices. Retailers and beef processors are coming from a long weekend and need to catch up with orders and make sure to fill the meat case. If they suddenly get a call saying that product may not deliver tomorrow or this week, it will create very significant challenges in keeping plants in operation and the retail case stocked up.”
JBS said there is no evidence of customer, supplier or employee data being compromised.