Hoeven Statement on Guidance Providing Flexibility to Meat Processing Facilities

Senator Worked with Agriculture Secretary to Help Maintain Food Supply Chain, Keep Facilities Operating Safely

BISMARCK, N.D. – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Appropriations Committee, today issued the following statement after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Labor (DOL), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, issued interim guidance to help combat the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) while supporting the continued operation of meat and poultry processing facilities. Hoeven has been working with fellow agriculture state senators, including Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, John Boozman and Thom Tillis, to ensure the integrity of the food supply chain and keep these facilities safely operating to benefit both producers and consumers. 

To this end, Hoeven recently urged Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and other administration officials to work toward guidance that enables a safe working environment, protects against the spread of COVID-19 and includes the flexibility needed to allow the processing plants to remain open.

“It’s vital that we keep the food supply chain operating, both for consumers and for our producers, particularly those who raise beef, poultry and pork,” said Hoeven. “We appreciate the administration for heeding our call to provide flexibility under these guidelines. We will continue working with the administration and industry to ensure worker safety and maintain consumer access to our nation’s high-quality food supply, while we all work together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.”