Kosher Meat Supply Crippled After Iowa Immigration Raid

Packing plant, now bankrupt, accounted 60% of US market
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 4:43 PM CST
Detained immigrant workers.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Kosher meat prices are skyrocketing after the Iowa packing plant that supplied about 60% of the US market declared bankruptcy, USA Today reports, in the wake of a May immigration raid. Agriprocessors, in trouble even before the raid, stopped operating last week. “Stores like mine are struggling all over,” said one deli owner, facing recent price hikes of 30%.

Pastrami aficionados aren’t the only ones feeling the pinch. “This town would be in a world of hurt if that plant closed,” one local said. Agriprocessors owes as much as a $100 million to creditors, but a state official says the raid wasn’t the cause. Almost 400 workers were detained in the raid, and the owners have been charged with thousands of labor violations.