The president of Tyson Foods warns that “the food supply chain” will break after factories in the US are closed
The chairman of Tyson Foods warned on Sunday that “the food supply chain” is breaking after coronavirus outbreaks have forced the shutdown of their factories.
John Tyson said that “millions of pounds of meat” will not reach stores and that there will be “a limited supply of our products available in supermarkets” until they can reopen facilities that are currently closed.
It comes after it was announced that two million chickens will be killed in Delaware and Maryland due to a lack of workers in processing plants.
Tyson Foods announced last week that it would close two pig processing plants, including the largest in the United States, to stem the spread of the coronavirus. In the United States, a total of at least 13 factories are said to have been closed.
President Tyson said on Sunday, “We have a responsibility to feed our country. It is as essential as healthcare. This is a challenge that should not be ignored. Our factories must remain operational so that we can provide food to our families in America.
“This is a delicate balance because Tyson Foods puts team member safety as our top priority.”
Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat supplier, said it will suspend operations at its largest pork factory in Waterloo, Iowa indefinitely after operating at reduced capacity
ATyson Foods Inc unit said on Thursday it will temporarily shut down production at a beef factory in Pasco, Washington, pictured, adding to the meat processing plant the company has had to shut down as it tests workers for COVID-19
Tyson also closed a pig processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, pictured, while the more than 2,200 factory workers are being tested for COVID-19
Tyson Foods, the largest U.S. meat supplier, said it will suspend operations at its largest pork factory in Waterloo, Iowa indefinitely after operating at reduced capacity.
Tyson also closed a pig processing plant in Logansport, Indiana, while its more than 2,200 workers are tested for COVID-19 in the factory.
John Tyson depicted has warned that “the food supply chain” is breaking
The company also temporarily closed a beef processing plant in Pasco, Washington.
The closures limit the amount of meat the United States can produce during the outbreak and put additional stress on farmers who lose markets for their pigs.
Closures aimed at stopping the spread of the coronavirus have also prevented farmers around the world from supplying food products to consumers.
Millions of workers cannot come to the fields to harvest and plant, and there are too few truck drivers to keep goods moving.
Tyson’s statement in the form of an ad in a number of newspapers on Sunday came after factory workers claimed they were not protected by their employer.
Employers have struggled to put the virus into meat-processing factories, where workers toil side by side on production lines, often sharing crowded locker rooms, canteens, and rides to work.
A Tyson employee at the Waterloo factory told the story CNN he called HR amid concerns about the facility’s coronavirus.
Ernest Latiker said, “I was afraid of me and my family. They told me I was safe and they told me everything was fine.
“They told me I have a higher chance of contracting the coronavirus when I go to Walmart than at Tyson, if you come to work you’re safe.
“I wanted to believe in them and I needed the money at the same time, so I went to work.”
Plant workers tested positive for the virus, and others stayed at home for fear of becoming infected. The facility slaughters about 19,500 pigs a day, or about 5 percent of total U.S. pork production, according to industry data.
Tyson’s statement in the form of an ad in a number of newspapers on Sunday came after workers in factories claimed they were not protected by their employer
Spread of coronavirus excludes flesh plants
Some of the facilities that stopped or reduced production while the coronavirus spreads:
JBS USA said it would shut down a pig factory in Worthington, Minnesota, which processes 20,000 pigs per day indefinitely.
JBS closed a beef factory in Greeley, Colorado until April 24.
Smithfield Foods indefinitely closed a factory in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which produces about 4% to 5% of the U.S. pork.
Smithfield also closes two factories in Wisconsin and Missouri that process bacon and ham.
Tyson Foods Inc. closed a pig slaughterhouse in Columbus Junction, Iowa
National Beef Packing Co suspended livestock slaughter at an Iowa premium beef factory in Tama, Iowa
National Beef said it suspended operations at a beef factory in Dodge City, Kansas for cleaning and installing stainless steel partitions
Aurora Packing Company has temporarily closed a beef factory in Aurora, Illinois
JBS closed a beef factory in Souderton, Pennsylvania. It reopened on April 20
Cargill closed a factory in Hazleton, Pennsylvania that produces meat for American supermarkets
The health department in Ogle County, Illinois, ordered a factory in Rochelle Foods, owned by Hormel Foods Corp, to close for two weeks on April 17
Hormel-owned Alma Foods suspended production in a Kansas factory until May 4
Sanderson Farms Inc reduced chicken production to 1 million birds per week from 1.3 million at a factory in Moultrie, Georgia.
“Consumers will see an impact in the supermarket if production slows,” said Steve Stouffer, president of the Tyson Fresh Meats Group, last week.
“It means the loss of a vital market for farmers and further contributes to the disruption of the nation’s pork supply.”
Following the closure of the Logansport facility, slaughterhouses will be closed, accounting for 19 percent of pork production in the United States.
And due to coronavirus-related staff shortages at chicken processing plants, farms in Maryland and Delaware will destroy nearly two million chickens.
The Baltimore Sun reported on Friday that the plants cannot keep up with the number of birds ready for harvest. A few weeks ago they were placed in chicken coops like chicks.
The chickens are not processed for meat.
The Delmarva Poultry Industry trading group said that every poultry factory in the Delmarva peninsula is experiencing a reduced turnout of workers. The reasons include employees who are ill with the coronavirus and people who receive counseling to stay at home when they are ill.
The Delmarva Peninsula includes parts of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.
The trading group said that one unidentified company became the first to be called ‘depopulation’. The trading group said the company was unable to find other options, such as allowing another company to take the chickens.
The trade group said the methods of destruction have been approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association for the treatment of cases of infectious bird disease.
Brazilian JBS USA and WH Group’s Smithfield Foods have also closed huge pig factories in Minnesota and South Dakota for an indefinite period of time.
Decreased meat production is due to increased demand in supermarkets, while restaurant halls are closed due to the virus.
Tyson said 2,800 workers at the Iowa plant would be compensated during the shutdown and invited to the coronavirus testing later this week.
There are more than 957,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States as of Monday. The death toll has reached 55,519.
As Tyson becomes the third major pig processing plant to be closed following a coronavirus outbreak, there is fear of a food interruption and a shortage of fresh meat. Shown is an empty chicken and poultry pouch in New Jersey on March 13
The outcome of the tests and other factors will determine when the facility reopens, according to the company.
Other U.S. meat and poultry factories operate with reduced capacity. Tyson runs a pig factory in Columbus Junction, Iowa, with limited activities after two weeks of idling.
Iowa farmer Randy Francis supplies 300 pigs to 500 pigs a week to the Waterloo slaughterhouse that stores in his barns. He hopes to transport the animals to other factories, but they are already overloaded with other pigs expelled by the shutdowns.
The pigs will gain more than usual due to the delays, Francis said. That can make their meat fattier or harder to chew when they are eventually slaughtered, he said.
“These are definitely scary times,” said Francis.