COVID-19 Update: JBS USA temporary closes Greeley beef facility

USA – JBS USA has announced the temporary closure of the Greeley beef production facility until April 24, 2020 and launched multiple additional efforts to support the fight against Coronavirus in Weld County, Colorado.

The food company announced on April 13, that the Greeley beef facility will wind down operations within two days with a diminished staff to ensure existing product in the facility can be used to support food supply needs.

The announcement comes a few days after the meat processor noted that the Greeley beef facility had been experiencing increased absenteeism as Coronavirus had spread across the country and local communities.

Following the closure of the facility, the company said that it will be working with public health officials in the county to curtail the spread of the virus, especially among its workers. The company will, however, continue to pay its team members during the plant closure

“While the Greeley beef facility is critical to the U.S. food supply and local producers, the continued spread of coronavirus in Weld County requires decisive action,” said Andre Nogueira, JBS USA CEO.

“As a leading member of this community, we believe we must do our part to support our local health professionals and first responders leading the fight against coronavirus.”

To further aid the community’s response to the local outbreak, the company pledged to provide funding to replenish personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders and essential city workers.

The meat processor is also donating US$140,000 to support recovering COVID-19 patients and free up critical hospital space for critically ill individuals as well as to support the production of masks for local residents and other COVID-19 relief efforts.

The company has also revealed that it will purchase and provide up to 1,000 COVID-19 test kits for low-income and uninsured local Weld County residents who require testing.

In response to the growing need for food during this critical moment, the company also committed US$100,000 to the Weld County Food Bank to provide food to local residents in need.

This is in addition to the previously announced US$1 million in test kits purchased by JBS USA.

The company operates more than 60 meat, poultry and prepared foods facilities across the United States.

The Greeley beef production facility is the second JBS USA plant to temporarily close, joining the Souderton, Pennsylvania, beef production facility.

Cargill Meat Solutions, a 900-worker plant in Hazleton Pennsylvania has also closed operations joining its peers in the meat industry such as Smithfield Foods and Maple Leaf who have shut down their pork and poultry processing facility in Sioux Falls, South Dakota  and Brampton, Ontario respectively.

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