Demand for dry ice could skyrocket

Agriculture

I’m Betsy Jibben with today’s AgDay Minute.

The United State’s largest beef processor has reportedly removed hundreds of at-risk workers from a Colorado plant. That’s according to the Wall Street Journal. It’s reporting meatpackers are trying to shore up their defense to keep the coronavirus out of the meatpacking plants. J-B-S reportedly removed 202-Greeley, Colorado plant workers considered vulnerable to the virus because of age and other factors. Those workers are getting full pay and benefits and will be allowed to return to work after community-infection rates decrease.

Manufacturers of dry ice are bracing for a possible “mad scramble”. The Wall Street Journal also reported on this, saying at least one supplier of dry-ice equipment is quadrupling capacity and others are expanding production lines. The companies all preparing to join the supply chain to help deliver coronavirus vaccines. Many of the vaccines need to be kept at super-cold temperatures. Supplies of carbon dioxide, which becomes dry ice when frozen, are already tight because of coronavirus-triggered disruptions in supply chains.

Smithfield Foods has offered to store Covid-19 vaccines in its ultra-cold freezers to help with the distribution of the vaccine. Reuters reporting the meat processor has multiple “ultra-cold” freezers. The company said it is quote-“ready and willing to assist health agencies should storage capacity become constrained”…endquote.

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