This afternoon, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued guidance on critical industry workforce that should continue as the country addresses and responds to the coronavirus outbreak. The National Pork Producers Council applauded the announcement that U.S. food and agriculture was included among 16 critical industries.
Specifically, DHS recognized as essential a variety of pork production roles. Among these critical workers:
- Food manufacturer employees and their supplier employees — to include those employed in food processing (packers, meat processing, cheese plants, milk plants, produce, etc.) facilities; livestock, poultry, seafood slaughter facilities; pet and animal feed processing facilities; human food facilities producing byproducts for animal food; beverage production facilities; and the production of food packaging.
- Farm workers to include those employed in animal food, feed and ingredient production, packaging, and distribution; manufacturing, packaging and distribution of veterinary drugs; truck delivery and transport; farm and fishery labor needed to produce our food supply domestically.
- Animal agriculture workers including those employed in veterinary health; manufacturing and distribution of animal medical materials, animal vaccines, animal drugs, feed ingredients, feed and bedding, etc.; transportation of live animals, animal medical materials; transportation of deceased animals for disposal; raising of animals for food; animal production operations; slaughter and packing plants and associated regulatory and government workforce.
"We thank DHS for acknowledging the vital role that pork producers play in helping to feed consumers here at home and around the globe with a high-quality, affordable protein," says National Pork Producers Council President Howard "A.V." Roth, a pork producer from Wauzeka, Wis. "We recognize that states and local governments are working hard to ensure operational continuity. As part of that effort, we urge state and local governments to swiftly follow and implement this federal directive. We need to ensure there is a continuous and uninterrupted supply of pork to America's kitchen tables."