Executive Order Reopens Meat Packing Facilities

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Under an Executive Order by President Donald Trump, meat packing facilities will remain open during the COVID-19 crisis. The President invoked the Defense Production Act to ensure the continued supply of meat to consumers. Recent projections had determined that there would likely be shortages of some meat in the coming months due to the closure of some large meat packing facilities in the Midwest after COVID-19 outbreaks among workers.

Because of the high concentration of meat and poultry processors in a relatively small number of large facilities, closure of any of these plants could disrupt our food supply. It is estimated that closure of a single large beef processing plant could result in the loss of over 10 million servings of beef in a single day. Without the processing of livestock there is the potential for  long-term disruptions in our supply chain.

Under the order signed on April 28, 2020, the Department of Agriculture is directed to ensure America’s meat and poultry processors continue operations uninterrupted to the maximum extent possible. The order also require processors to continue to follow the latest guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

North Carolina ranks sixth in the nation in cash receipts from livestock, dairy and poultry. Combined these industries add $7.6 billion to the NC economy annually.

Executive Order on Meat Processing Facilities