Statement from AgriGrowth on Executive Order to Keep Meat Processing Plants Open

April 29, 2020

Saint Paul, MINN.—This week, President Trump announced a new executive order that meat processing plants should continue to operate in theUnited States, designating them critical infrastructure during this COVID-19pandemic.

Tamara Nelsen, Executive Director of AgriGrowth, a nonpartisan, nonprofit membership association representing the agriculture and food industry inMinnesota, released the following statement regarding the executive order:

When speaking with our farmers, food processors, associations and members who represent industries across the food supply chain, their first priority through out this COVID-19 pandemic is and remains the safety, health and wellbeing of their employees. It takes all of us working together to ensure that we are able to produce safe, quality food to feed consumers across our country.

Meat processing plants have implemented numerous additional rigorous health standards and will continue to do so. Every plant is constantly evaluating and reevaluating processes, heeding all science-based health guidelines to protect workers and ensure healthy food production for consumers. They will continue to operate under the guidance of the USDA, OSHA, CDC and other government agencies.

The announcement this week by the Trump Administration is critical to the agri-food industry in Minnesota. By providing more uniform federal support of and guidance on health and safety protocols, processing plants can continue to operate, even more safely. It will also help ease some concerns for farmers facing depopulation of their herds. And, the result will be improved opportunities to move farm products to markets, as well as enhanced worker and community safety.

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