Local poultry processing companies say executive order helps

DELMARVA – President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday declaring meat processing plants critical infrastructure. That order could have an impact on workers in Delmarva, where poultry processing is a job source for a large number of people. “Our Delmarva chicken community is such an integral part of the Delmarva economy overall, just with the workforce that we have here, with the number of farmers that we have here,” said Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. executive director Holly Porter.

Local poultry processing companies say President Trump’s executive order will help them to keep business running and grocery stores stocked. Meat processing giant Tyson Foods praised the president for the move. In a statement, they say, “We appreciate the administration’s efforts to help the food supply chain and we remain committed to protecting the safety of our team members as we continue our efforts to keep feeding American families. The safety of our team members will remain our top priority as we work with the USDA on next steps.”

Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. says the order could possibly help keep companies and workers protected while on the job. The company also says the order came after the governors of Marlyand, Delaware, and Virginia made requests for federal assistance. “That request was asking for federal resources for multiple things including PPE, supplies, testing materials, and again, sort of that guidance,” said Porter.

Perdue Farms says while the order keeps operations running, they’re also focused on the health and safety of their workers. In a statement, Perdue says, “The federal government has deemed food industry workers as mission-critical personnel, which is a huge responsibility that we are committed to fulfilling while keeping our associates safe.”

Tyson and Perdue also tell 47ABC that they’re having workers practice social distancing, and are checking their temperatures. The companies also say they’ve been cleaning and sanitizing plants, as well as providing workers with PPE.

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