Smithfield Foods close Sioux Falls, SD plant until further notice due to COVID-19

Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today in a press release that its Sioux Falls, SD facility will remain closed until further notice. The plant is one of the largest pork processing facilities in the U.S., representing four to five percent of U.S. pork production. It supplies nearly 130 million servings of food per week, or about 18 million servings per day, and employs 3,700 people. More than 550 independent family farmers supply the plant. Initially, Smithfield suspends operations in part of the plant on April 11 and completely shutter the plant April 12 to 13 for deep cleaning, sanitization and to erect physical barriers to enhance social distancing. Kenneth M. Sullivan, president, and chief executive officer, for Smithfield, recognizes that these facility closures will also have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions for many in the supply chain.  Numerous plants across the country have COVID-19 positive employees. We have continued to run our facilities for one reason: to sustain our nation’s food supply during this pandemic. We believe it is our obligation to help feed the country, now more than ever. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19,” he concluded. Smithfield will resume operations in Sioux Falls once further direction is received from local, state and federal officials. The company will continue to compensate its employees for the next two weeks and hopes to keep them from joining the ranks of the tens of millions of unemployed Americans across the country. @

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