Meat shortage averted?
JBS SA, the world's largest meat producer, announced: "they are on schedule to resume production at all of their facilities on Thursday."
Employees began returning to JBS' shuttered meat plants on Wednesday, a day after the company's beef operations were halted across the country following a ransomware attack over the weekend.
The FBI released a statement Wednesday night, naming a Russia-linked hacking group as behind the ransomware attack.
"JBS USA and Pilgrim's continue to make significant progress in restoring our IT systems and returning to business as usual," said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO. "Today, the vast majority of our facilities resumed operations as we forecast yesterday, including all of our pork, poultry and prepared foods facilities around the world and the majority of our beef facilities in the US and Australia."
"Given the progress our teams have made to address this situation, and we anticipate operating at close to full capacity across our global operations Thursday," Nogueira added.
Brazil's JBS controls nearly a quarter of the slaughtering capacity for US cattle and hogs, and concerns of a meat shortage were seen earlier this week as the company had to close all of its US meat processing plants.
Google Search Trends shows Americans panic searched "meat shortage" between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The ransomware attack followed a cyberattack three weeks ago by another Russian group that managed to paralyze Colonial Pipeline, the largest fuel pipeline in the US. Fuel stopped flowing up and down the East Coast, resulting in shortages at gas stations and prices ramped to multi-year highs.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Wednesday:
"We're not taking any options off the table in terms of how we may respond, but of course, there's an internal policy review process to consider that. We're in direct touch with the Russians, as well, to convey our concerns about these reports," Psaki said.
So, a meat shortage has been averted for now, but since hacker groups are targeting commodity-linked companies, which company will be next?