Smithfield Foods, Inc. has recently made an announcement that the Sioux Falls of the company shall remain shut until any further notice. The plant is known for being amongst the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S. It represents about four to five percent of the total U.S. pork production.
The facilities supply about 130 million servings of the food product every week or nearly 18 million servings every day while employing around 3,700 people. Over 550 independent family farmers help in the supply of the livestock.
The Chief executive Officer and President, Kenneth M. Sullivan stated that the closure of the facility in combination with an increasing list of various other protein plants having shuttered in the country has been nudging the U.S. dangerously close to the edge concerning the supply of meat. It will be impossible to keep grocery stores stocked in case the plants are not running.
Sullivan further commented that the closures of the facilities shall have some harsh and tragic consequences for several players within the supply chain, affecting livestock farmers of the nation first. The farmers have no place for the animals to be sent to.
He continued that COVID-19 cases have been widespread and have been affecting the communities all across the world. Various plants in the country witnessed employees testing positive for COVID-19, leaving the food and agriculture sectors afflicted. The facilities have continued to operate for sustaining the food supply during the pandemic situation of the nation and the companies believe that it is obligated to feed the nation, especially at this moment.
Smithfield will be resuming its operations in the Sioux Falls after more directions are given from the state, federal and even local officials. The company will also be compensating the employees for about two weeks while expecting them to join millions of unemployed Americans in the country.