President Donald Trump’s executive order to open meatpacking plants helps ensure the food supply chain but poses risks to workers.
A statement by the National Farmers Union says the organization shares the president’s concerns around maintaining food system infrastructure.
However, the organization is equally concerned with the health and wellbeing of meat plant employees.
NFU President Rob Larew says, “These workers work in close quarters and often lack access to appropriate protective equipment or paid sick leave, making them among the most vulnerable to coronavirus.”
However, ordering the facilities to stay open ensures that producers of meat have a market for their product.
National Pork Producers Council President Howard AV Roth says, “We must safely stabilize the current plant capacity challenge.”
Pork and poultry producers face the tough decision to depopulate because there is no room for animals in the current supply chain.
American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall, in a statement, says he is “hopeful” the executive order will protect workers while ensuring the supply chain for farmers and ranchers.