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Fresh Produce

Meat Processor JBS Says All Facilities Now Operational After Weekend Cyberattack

All of the global facilities operated by JBS SA are now back in business following last weekend's cyberattack, which disrupted much of its North American and Australian operations.

The Brazilian meatpacker said that it lost less than one day's worth of food production following the attack, according to a statement. It said the losses will be recovered by the end of next week.

Quick Recovery

The Pilgrim's Pride owner has recovered faster than some meat buyers and market analysts expected from the May 30 ransomware attack, which the White House linked to a Russia-based group.

The attack followed one last month by a group with ties to Russia on Colonial Pipeline, which crippled fuel delivery for several days in the U.S. Southeast.

JBS voluntarily shut down all its systems to isolate the intrusion upon learning of the attack, which failed to infect encrypted backup servers, according to the statement.

Impact Reduction

"The criminals were never able to access our core systems, which greatly reduced potential impact," said Andre Nogueira, chief executive of JBS USA.

U.S. beef prices initially jumped as the attack tightened supplies. However, American consumers should not see a lasting impact on prices "if the situation continues to resolve quickly," a U.S. Department of Agriculture official said.

"The market is moving toward normalisation," the official said.

JBS on Tuesday halted cattle slaughtering at its U.S. plants, which process nearly a quarter of America's beef, according to union officials.

By Thursday, the number of cattle slaughtered by U.S. processors including JBS was up 27% from Tuesday and 14% from Wednesday, according to USDA estimates.

Last year, the U.S. meat supply chain buckled as COVID-19 outbreaks closed slaughterhouses, reducing production and raising prices.

"We need to invest in a food system that is durable, distributed and better equipped to withstand 21st century challenges, including cybersecurity threats and other disruptions," the USDA official said.

News by Reuters, edited by ESM. For more Fresh Produce stories, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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