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Closings, Cancellations and Delays


Tyson warns more meat plant closures coming


SD Ag Connection - May 5, 2020

SPRINGDALE, ARK. - Tyson warned Monday that it expects more meat plant closures this year and that it will continue producing less meat than usual, as workers refrain from coming to work during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have and expect to continue to face slowdowns and temporary idling of production facilities from team member shortages or choices we make to ensure operational safety," the company said in a statement discussing financial results from the first three months of this year. "We will not hesitate to idle any plant for deep cleaning when the need arises," CEO Noel White added during an analyst call Monday.

According to CNN Business, the meat processor has shuttered a number of plants in recent weeks as workers fall ill with Covid-19. It's warned that if the closures continue, America's food supply will suffer.

In an executive order signed last week, the president gave Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue the power to invoke the Defense Production Act to force companies to keep their plants open. The order, however, has not led to a widespread reopening of meat production plants.

In a statement responding to the directive, Smithfield lauded the decision but noted that it is "evaluating next steps to open its currently shuttered facilities and will make announcements when it is ready to resume operations in each location."

The day after the president signed the order, JBS USA announced it would partially reopen its pork production facility in Worthington, Minnesota -- but only to euthanize hogs that won't be processed because of bottlenecks in the supply chain.



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