Statement from Josh Trenary, executive director of Indiana Pork, following the announcement of the upcoming temporary shutdown of Tyson Fresh Meats
“Pork packing and processing plants are already some of the most sanitary facilities in the country, but many are taking special precautions to ensure worker safety. Recently, the Tyson Foods plant in Logansport, Indiana, shut down for a day to perform additional deep cleaning and sanitation measures, in addition to mandated use of face masks and the implementation of social-distancing protocols. Today (April 22, 2020), Tyson committed to an additional voluntary shutdown to thoroughly test employees. This is not unique to the Logansport plant as processing plants across the country are shutting down to make sure they are giving an adequate nod to worker safety. In the long run, if that’s what it takes to make sure plant employees are safe and plants can continue to operate then it’s all worth it. In the meantime though, these temporary shutdowns and other plant labor issues across the country are causing even more of a backup of pigs on farms. Severe backups can cause animal welfare issues that farmers may have to take drastic measures to resolve.”
“Indiana farmers want access to markets and to continue to provide quality pork to consumers, but they need adequate packing capacity to do it. The decision to temporarily close a plant is a major detriment to pork farmers, especially in light of all other previous closures across the country. Indiana pig farmers remain committed to providing the best animal care practices even during this pandemic. Indiana Pork hopes that local and state health officials and Tyson management are able to work quickly to get this important part of our pork industry up and running as soon as possible.”
Indiana Pork is a not-for-profit association representing Indiana’s 3,000 family pork farmers through the pork checkoff program. Learn more at www.indianapork.com.