It resumed production today (Tuesday 21 April) after being idle for two weeks due to coronavirus concerns.
The Columbus Junction pork plant, which produces fresh, boxed pork for shipment to foodservice and retail customers around the world, is a key market outlet to hundreds of independent pig farmers in the region.
Tyson Foods’ other meat and poultry plants continue operations, with some running at reduced levels of production either due to the planned implementation of additional worker safety precautions or worker absenteeism. The company has suspended production for a day at some locations for additional deep cleaning and sanitization.
“Our first priority is protecting our team members while they fulfill their critical mission of feeding families across the country during this challenging time,” said Tyson Foods president Dean Banks. “We plan to increase production at Columbus Junction gradually, with the safety of our team members top of mind.”
Tyson Foods formed a coronavirus task force in January and has implemented numerous measures to protect workers.
Numerous plants across the US have been forced to close temporarily due to the coronavirus, leading to concerns from other parties in the supply chain. It has been estimated that the cost of the coronavirus to the US beef industry is $14.6bn while the National Pork Producers Council estimates that the cost to the pork industry will be around $5bn in 2020 alone.