US foodservice operators, unsure of beef supply hit by cyber-attack, look to Scottish salmon

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Spike in prices for beef and reduction in supply.

Following a cyber-attack targeting the world’s largest meat company JBS, the company had to suspend operations at its nine beef processing facilities across the United States.

The national trade marketing body for the Scottish seafood industry Seafood Scotland wrote that foodservice operators are looking to their produce to fill the gap. The organisation said that leading Scottish salmon followed by trout and also wild-caught fish like haddock and langoustine are in demand.

“The beef supply chain already saw disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seeing a spike in prices and a reduction in supply, and this latest news is leading chefs to explore options to keep customers satisfied,” wrote Seafood Scotland in a press release.

Seafood Scotland cited the example of John Serock who runs John Serock Catering in Philadelphia.

“I am absolutely concerned with my supply chain; particularly around centre of the plate,” said Serock.

“We have over 350 weddings and events scheduled this summer; all of which have set menus and pricing. We are actively considering how we can pivot from beef to more seafood-based menu items—both centre of the plate and in our appetizers,” he added.

“Salmon is a big part of my menu offering,” he added.

JBS, which produces almost a quarter of America’s beef, paid a ransom worth USD 11 million in bitcoin to the hackers behind a cyber attack on its computer systems on Wednesday, reported Fox News Business.

JBS CEO Andre Nogueira said they paid to limit the potential impact on restaurants, grocery stores and farmers that rely on JBS.