Pork, beef organizations welcome order to keep processing plants running
President Trump’s executive order to invoke the Defense Production Act was welcomed news for the nation’s beef and pork producers. Jen Sorenson, president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council says the move by President Trump will eventually help to alleviate pressure on the pork industry.
And she says it can’t happen soon enough. “What this does do – is it gives the federal government the authority to keep the plants open,” she says. “It also allows the federal government to get the PPE and the safety equipment to the plants. It helps remove some of the liabilities that packing plants are seeing and helps organize and coordinate the other agencies within the government with a consistent, uniform approach.”
AUDIO: Jen Sorenson, president-elect NPPC
CEO of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Colin Woodall says the move gives Secretary Perdue more power to get these plants up and keep them running. “He’ll be utilizing not only his own agencies – the Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service,” he says. “But he’ll also be able to use Centers for Disease Control, Department of Labor, and OSHA in order to make sure the guidance they put out on worker safety is also a part of this.”
Woodall says worker safety and health must be a priority, because without healthy workers and workers in the facilities, packers are unable to process livestock, creating disruptions to the food supply chain.
AUDIO: Colin Woodall, NCBA
Both Sorenson and Woodall remind consumers there is no shortage of either pork or beef in the US. The challenge has been keeping the food supply chain running.