Meat Company Cyberattack Might Drive Prices Up

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says "As long as this is short term, it has minor impacts."

FARGO, N.D. (KVRR) —  One of the major meat suppliers is investigating a cyberattack over the Memorial Day weekend.

“As long as this is short term, it has minor impacts,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring said.

Commissioner Goehring says the North Dakota meat industry is fine as of now, but prices might go up. JBS, one of the biggest meat suppliers in the country was the victim of a security breach forcing many of its facilities to close in the U.S., Australia and Canada.

JBS says their backup servers weren’t affected. Here in North Dakota, Commissioner Goehring says the impacts from the attacks are low.

“It’s the overall impact of the entire industry just on price,” Goehring said.

He explains if the meat supply goes down because of the attacks, the demand will go up. With more demand, prices will climb.

“If this thing has a much longer and bigger impact there might be something Congress can do,” Goehring explained.

Goehring says there are no protection systems set up for cyberattacks like this one. The White House is investigating. They believe the attack came from a Russia-based criminal organization. A local meat store has not seen a change in business operations.

“There’s nothing today that is different from yesterday or last week. Prices have basically plateaued where they’re not rising too much. Some things are going up. Some things are going down. Just like they were before,” Meats by John and Wayne Co-Owner Jason Aamodt said.

He says it takes more than a few days to make a difference.

“At least a week. As I said, that’s a shutdown of a week. That’s a 100,000 plus of cattle not being slaughtered for our case, for everybody’s case,” Aamodt said.

Commissioner Goehring says these attacks affect everyone.

“Whether it’s a cyberattack on a pipeline, an energy company, whether they’re producing electricity, gas, oil, and fuel, it has a very real impact not only on agriculture but also for the consumer,” Goehring said.

Aamodt says as of right now, there’s no need for anyone to panic buy.

Categories: Agriculture, Business, North Dakota News