This year’s Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated at the end of next month, but for American turkey farmers, this holiday may not be easy. The frantically raging new crown epidemic may interrupt the steady growth of turkey consumption in the United States over the past 50 years and impact the American holiday tradition of eating turkey.
According to a report from the Washington Post on the 20th, affected by the epidemic prevention and isolation rules under the epidemic, in the upcoming Thanksgiving Day, the family gatherings of American people will be reduced, and the consumer demand for the whole big turkey will also be reduced. As the traditional main course of Thanksgiving for Americans, the status of turkey is being shaken.
This phenomenon is not good news for American turkey farmers. According to the report, in 2,500 turkey farms in the United States, farmers are trying to forecast this year’s turkey consumption demand. Farmers worry that too many “big turkeys” will cause difficulties for themselves.
Cliff Pollard, the founder of the American meat company “Cream Co. Meats”, believes that people’s demand for turkey will change greatly this year. As the size of family gatherings has shrunk, a whole turkey is “too much” for people.
Pollard predicts that in this case, people will choose to buy part of the turkey, or directly choose other foods as the main course. However, this is not a good thing for traditional small farmers who raise turkeys.
“People may buy a processed turkey, but for traditional small farmers, it is more difficult to process the turkey into several parts,” Pollard said.
Ariane Daguin, the founder of American meat company D’Artagnan, also believes that the consumer demand for turkey will change significantly this year. Dakun said that in recent years, the popularity of small poultry has gradually increased, and this year’s new crown epidemic has exacerbated this trend. Because the scale of family gatherings has become smaller, some people will choose to eat duck or goose instead,
In addition to the shrinking consumer demand for turkey, the rise of plant-based meat consumption in the United States will also take a share of the turkey market.
According to the “Good Food Institute”, a non-profit organization that promotes such foods, since the outbreak, more and more American consumers have begun to substitute plant-based foods for meat.
In the United States, “tofurky” is a substitute for turkey meat made from soybeans. Reports revealed that there was a surge in retail orders for this food before the Thanksgiving holiday.
However, the challenges faced by American turkey farmers do not stop there.
Cliff Pollard, the founder of the American meat company “Cream Co.Meats”, believes that turkey slaughter is currently the biggest risk facing farmers. Affected by the epidemic, many meat processing plants in the United States have closed their doors or slowed their production. Some factories even directly destroy those living things that cannot be processed.
According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, the United States is the world’s largest producer and exporter of turkey, with 10% of its production sold abroad. In 1970, the average American ate 8 pounds (approximately 3.6 kg) of turkey meat, and this number has now doubled. In 2019, the domestic consumption of turkey meat in the United States reached 5.3 billion pounds (approximately 2.4 million tons), with an average per capita of 16 pounds (approximately 7.2 kilograms), and the total output value reached $4.3 billion.
However, this year’s sudden epidemic has disrupted everything.
Drew Bowman, the owner of a turkey farm in Ohio, said that in the past, the holiday was the busiest time of the year and there was a lot of work to do, but like many others, this year is full of Too much uncertainty, too much emotion.
“As a small business owner, these situations make me sleepless at night because of anxiety.” Bowman said, “For us, there are too many unknown things.”