61.50 +0.13 (0.21%)
After hours: 7:56PM EDT
Double Moving Average Crossover
|Bid||61.41 x 1200|
|Ask||61.79 x 1000|
|Day's Range||59.75 - 61.90|
|52 Week Range||42.57 - 94.24|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||0.67|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||11.44|
|Earnings Date||Aug 03, 2020 - Aug 07, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||1.68 (2.68%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||May 29, 2020|
|1y Target Est||79.09|
Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) is temporarily shutting down its Iowa pork factory due to the transmission of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the facility, Reuters reported Thursday.What Happened According to Iowa state officials, at least 555 workers at the Storm Lake plant have tested positive for COVID-19 so far, as reported by Reuters. The positive workers account for 22% of the total workforce at the facility.The company plans on resuming production next week, after "additional deep cleaning and sanitizing of the entire facility."President Donald Trump last month ordered meat-processing plants to stay open during the pandemic to ensure food supply across the United States.Nevertheless, companies including Tyson, WH Group Ltd. (OTC: WHGLY) subsidiary Smithfield Foods, and JBS SA (OTC: JBSAY), had to shutter 20 facilities across the country in April due to coronavirus outbreaks among workers.Why It Matters Meat companies have faced criticism for lack of worker safety measures during the pandemic.According to data from the Food & Environment Reporting Network, at least 18,437 meatpacking workers in the U.S. have tested positive for the coronavirus as of Thursday, and 67 of them have died.The family of a Tyson employee who died from complications arising out of COVID-19 has sued the company for wrongful death.Tyson Price Action Tyson shares closed 0.14% lower at $62.66 on Thursday and were mostly unchanged in the after-hours.See more from Benzinga * Amazon Offers Full-Time Employment To 125,000 Workers Hired To Meet Increased Demand During Pandemic * UPS Slaps 'Peak' Surcharge On Amazon, Walmart, Others, As Delivery Requests Balloon Post Lockdown Ease * Trump Signs Executive Order To End Social Media Legal Immunity For Third-Party Content(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Sanderson Farms reported quarterly results Thursday morning. The company is dealing with extraordinary pressures from Covid-19, and so are its peers.
The meatpacking giant's struggle with the coronavirus pandemic highlights the future of ethically sourced meat and plant-based meat replacements.
Tyson Foods, Inc. (TSN) today published its 2019 Sustainability Report, “Grow – Deliver - Sustain” [LINK], outlining progress toward its sustainability goals and announcing key achievements in five focus areas: Food, Animal Welfare, Environment, Workplace, and Communities. The goal of Tyson Foods' sustainability initiative is to ensure the company produces safe, nutritious food for the global population and makes a positive impact on the world.
While much of the USA cautiously begins opening for business again, hoping the COVID-19 pandemic is withering away, Tyson Foods (NYSE: TSN) faces an apparent resurgence of the novel coronavirus: 570 employees at a North Carolina chicken processing facility with a total workforce of 2,000, or roughly 28.5%, are confirmed to be infected after testing. The meatpacking industry, where workers typically carry out their tasks in crowded conditions, was earlier hit by significant local outbreaks. At one point, America's meat supply chain was thought to be verging on breakdown, prompting President Trump to issue an executive order mandating the industry to keep operating.
(Bloomberg) -- It’s been three weeks since President Donald Trump’s executive order to keep meat plants running in the pandemic and the government began preparing fresh guidance on how to keep their employees safe. Infections are still on the rise as workers say they’re being forced to put themselves in harm’s way in the name of food security.Based on 13 interviews with employees, labor representatives and a U.S. government inspector at meat plants in states including Arkansas, Virginia, Nebraska, North Carolina and Texas, employees are still standing elbow-to-elbow along production lines. There are some plastic barriers, but employees haven’t been spaced out in parts of the plants. People with symptoms are still coming in for shifts, afraid of losing income if they call in sick. Protective gear in some cases is of low quality -- thin masks are breaking. With not enough distance between people, the combination could be ripe for the spread of disease.Companies have taken measures such as increasing hand-washing stations, distributing face shields, doing temperature checks and staggering breaks. But experts warn that in the end, nothing can make up for a lack of physical distance. And some are starting to question whether it’s even possible to run these plants safely during the pandemic, given the nature of how production is handled.“They’re still working shoulder to shoulder, and these partitions are not even proven to prevent the spread of the virus,” said Magaly Licolli, executive director at Springdale, Arkansas-based Venceremos, an organization focused on human rights of poultry workers. Companies have “basically refused to restructure workstations, since that would decrease production. But that’s what they need to do to prevent an outbreak.”Some of America’s largest meat suppliers, JBS SA, Tyson Foods Inc., Smithfield Foods Inc. and Cargill Inc., reopened plants recently, working to increase meat output after closures sparked some shortages and higher prices. That means maintaining high speeds on processing lines -- something that makes physical distancing nearly impossible. Even protocols developed jointly by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration seem to acknowledge this. The guidance recommends reconfiguring work spaces to allow for 6 feet of distancing “if feasible,” but sets no hard rules.More than a dozen major meatpacking facilities reopened in May after Trump’s order. Since then, the coronavirus has continued to spread at almost twice the national rate in counties that are home to these types of plants. In the two months since infections started among meat workers, at least 30 have died and more than 10,000 have been infected, according to the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. Virus rates among workers have topped 50% at some plants.The outbreaks have exposed vulnerabilities in the meat supply chain -- and the human cost of keeping Americans fed amid a pandemic. Restaurants including Wendy’s Co. have reported meat shortages. But wholesale beef and pork prices, which had doubled since early April, are starting to ease as plants reopen.Meat-industry advocates have said that high infection rates are partly due to aggressive testing of their workers.The North American Meat Institute, the trade association that represents processors, says “that companies are constantly looking for and implementing new ways to protect workers under the careful oversight of state and local authorities” including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the CDC and OSHA.“The safety of the men and women who work in their facilities is the first priority for the meat and poultry industry,” Sarah Little, a spokeswoman for the group, said by email.Still, Trump’s order sparked outrage from union leaders and worker advocates who argue that maintaining and ramping up production in spite of the outbreaks will lead to more illness.“Many aren’t coming to work -- they’re sick or afraid. And if they do go in, they have to work faster” to make up for absenteeism since line speeds haven’t slowed, Licolli said.Interviews with employees from JBS, Tyson, Smithfield and Cargill, along with labor leaders, show that social distancing is difficult to maintain -- both on production lines and in other areas. Even when traffic is directed, it can still get crowded. Some plant workers said colleagues have come into work coughing, sneezing and, in a few cases, vomiting.“We are doing everything we can to keep this virus out of our facilities,” JBS USA said in an emailed statement. “That said, our plants were not designed to stop the spread of a virus. Throughout this process, we have had to fundamentally alter the way we do business because of Covid-19.”JBS said it doesn’t want “sick team members coming to work,” and that “no one is punished for being absent for health reasons.” If an employee “is fearful of coming to work they can call the company and inform us, and they will receive unpaid leave without any consequence to their employment,” the company said.Some SlowdownsSome of the line speeds at JBS have slowed because members of vulnerable populations are being asked to stay home, with pay. Employees are required to wear a mask on company property, everyone is given a face shield and the company said it has hired hundreds of people for a team that oversee its efforts to keep employees healthy.Cargill said it is “consulting health experts and implementing new protocols as they are identified” to protect employees.“Standards are evolving as this virus progresses, and we are continuously learning about new ways to protect employees,” the company said in an emailed statement. “We are proactively putting into place the latest available safety protocols appropriate for the contexts in which we operate. We care deeply about our co-workers and the communities where we live and work.”“We take seriously our responsibility to feed the world,” Cargill said.Smithfield said it has taken “aggressive measures to protect the health and safety of our employees during this pandemic.”On its website, Smithfield lists safeguards taken including boosting use of protective gear to include masks and face shields, making free voluntary Covid-19 testing available to employees, explicitly instructing employees not to report to work if they are sick or exhibiting symptoms and increasing social distancing, wherever possible.Tyson said it has implemented a range of social distancing measures, including installing physical barriers between workstations and in break rooms, providing more breakroom space, erecting outdoor tents where possible for additional space for breaks, among other steps.“We only want people to come to work if they’re healthy,” Tyson said in an emailed statement. “Our top priority is the health and safety of our team members, their families and our communities.”The company said it’s addressing line speed on a case-by-case basis, and has slowed lines in some locations based on labor availability and to allow for social distancing. It’s also staggering start times to avoid large gatherings and has designated social-distance monitors stationed throughout each facility. Tyson said the measures being taken are based on guidance from CDC, OSHA and local health officials.Many employees acknowledge that companies are making some improvements, but they point to line speeds as part of the underlying problem for distancing.There are a lot of areas where workers are complaining they’re “right on top of each other,” said Kim Cordova, president of United Food & Commercial Workers Local 7 union, which represents workers at a JBS USA plant in Greeley, Colorado.Data from the USDA on slaughterhouse production underscore the rapid increase in output in the past few weeks. As of May 18, government estimates for daily hog slaughter rose 6.2% from a week earlier, and the cattle kill was up 9.3%. Capacity is back to about 80% of normal, after falling to roughly 60% to 70% last month.To allow for proper social distancing, production should be running at a much lower rate, possibly just one third of normal, according to Sanchoy Das, a professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where his research focuses primarily on supply chain modeling and analysis.Instead of slowing things down, some companies have been adding weekend shifts to further boost production.“Usually we don’t work Saturdays until the middle of August. Right now, because of coronavirus, we will work from now up until the end of February 2021” to meet rising demand, said Dennis Medbourn, a union steward at the Tyson pork plant in Logansport, Indiana, where he’s worked for 12 years.Tyson said it has “historically worked Saturday shifts through April and May at the Logansport facility,” adding “this isn’t a new initiative.”The national UFCW union has also pointed to a lack of rapid testing as part of the challenges facing producers.Protective GearAnd there are issues with protective gear.In some places, plastic sheeting is used to create barriers between workers. That ends up creating a capsule where cleaning chemicals become trapped next to people’s faces, making it difficult to breathe, according to Licolli of Venceremos.Joe Enriquez Henry, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens in Iowa, said the combination of fast line speeds while wearing protective gear also creates breathing problems, likening it to jogging while wearing full head gear.Face shields become impractical because of the nature of the job: Inevitably, blood splatters on shields -- forcing employees to then wipe them off in order to see properly, potentially exposing them to whatever particles had gathered.“These plants are what I would describe as wet plants, for the people who work there, there’s fluid flying everywhere,” said Das of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. “Everybody is wet, the floor is wet, so it is a conducive environment for disease transmission.”In the early days of the pandemic, there was little information about how workers should defend themselves against the virus. The CDC didn’t issue guidance for “critical infrastructure” workers, including food industry staff, until April 3. There was pandemic guidance on file from OSHA, written in 2009 as a result of the H1N1 influenza pandemic, but it wasn’t widely distributed this time around. OSHA and the CDC didn’t issue Covid-19 specific guidance for meat and poultry workers until late April, after more than a dozen industry employees had died from the virus. The guidance was last reviewed May 12, according to the CDC website.Wiggle RoomEven now, unions say federal guidelines aren’t strong enough. The language is full of phrases like “if possible” and “if feasible,” allowing for plenty of wiggle room.“These recommendations, they have no enforceable piece to them and that’s the real challenge,” said Jake Bailey, packing house and food processing director for UFCW 1473 in Milwaukee.The “USDA works with plant owners to keep them operating safely in accordance with CDC and OSHA guidance. State and local health departments are heavily involved,” the CDC said in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.“It’s important to remember that CDC is a non-regulatory agency, and its recommendations are discretionary and not mandated,” the agency said. “However, guidance and recommendations issued by CDC are often used by other agencies responsible for developing and enforcing workplace safety and health regulations.”OSHA said its guidance “allows for flexibility in responding to the rapidly changing conditions and understanding of the virus,” while adding it’s important that employers “seek to adhere to this guidance.”The agency said it has “a number of enforcement tools that apply to protect these workers,” including standards on protective gear and sanitation. It is working with its federal partners to continue monitoring the situation at meat plants and will make changes as needed to its standards and requirements, OSHA said in an emailed statement.‘Unique Circumstances’The USDA said it has directed meat and poultry processing plants to operate in accordance with the CDC/OSHA guidance. Facilities should “utilize the recommendations highlighted in the guidance document, recognizing that how they are implemented may differ given the unique circumstances of establishments and processing facilities nationwide,” the agency said in an emailed statement. “USDA will continue to work with our federal partners and state, local, and tribal officials to meet resource needs to keep food and agriculture employees safe and maintain the continuity of food supply chain operations.”Bailey of the Milwaukee group has toured many of the 20 food and meat processing plants the union represents in recent weeks. It’s not all bad news, he points out. In some facilities, things have changed “drastically” -- there is duct tape on the ground telling people where to stand as they get their temperature taken, and every 5 to 15 feet there’s a sanitizing station. Workers have been moved apart, but there are a few places where the distance has actually reached the recommended 6-foot threshold, he said, adding that that’s where companies are trying to put barriers in place.“Physical distancing is the number one way we currently know to prevent transmission,” said Celeste Monforton, a lecturer in public health at Texas State University. “You can put out as much hand sanitizer as you want, as many checkpoints for temperatures, all of those things are complementary, but extremely limited in terms of preventing transmission of disease compared to physical distancing.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
David J. Bronczek, 65, has been appointed to the board of directors of Tyson Foods (TSN), company officials announced today. Bronczek is the recently retired president and chief operating officer of FedEx Corporation, the global logistics and transportation company. A native of Ohio and graduate of Kent State University, Bronczek also has experience as an independent public company director, previously serving on the board of International Paper.
(Bloomberg) -- Investors are picking a new fight with the world’s biggest meat companies as coronavirus outbreaks sicken thousands of workers.After tackling issues including the use of antibiotics, animal welfare and climate change, investors are turning their attention to plants that have become virus hotspots. Firms that manage $2.3 trillion in assets want meatpackers to adopt recommendations they say will keep workers safe and mitigate reputational and financial risks.The investors are urging the likes of Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS SA to take steps including enforcing social distancing, providing personal protective equipment and opposing any federal or state policies that deny unemployment benefits or stimulus relief to staff that refuse to go back to work due to fear of being infected, according to a statement by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility signed by more than 100 global investors.More than 10,000 American meat workers have been infected with the virus, and at least 30 have died, the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union estimates. Plant conditions -- including difficulty maintaining distancing and adhering to heightened cleaning standards -- increased risks for infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Major facilities were forced to close, tightening meat supplies and pushing up prices for beef and pork.“The issues raised in this statement are longstanding engagement themes that weren’t created by -- but only exacerbated by -- the Covid-19 crisis,” said Nadira Narine, a senior program director at the ICCR in New York. “Companies are quick to publicly champion essential employees’ health and safety as a top priority, but workers on the frontline in the meat sector report feeling more expendable than essential.”The pandemic has highlighted worker conditions at slaughterhouses, where cold, damp factories and crowded workstations make infectious diseases particularly hard to control. The jobs are also low-paying and provide few benefits, further underscoring how labor inequality is one of the most significant rifts brought to the fore by Covid-19.Three weeks ago, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep plants running amid the outbreaks. Since then, more than a dozen facilities have reopened. Union leaders and worker advocates have argued that maintaining production in spite of the outbreaks will lead to more infections.Investors are also asking for increased worker safeguards, requesting companies to provide more protective gear, including “the most effective respirators available.” The money managers are also advocating to ensure testing is available and asking for an end to lobbying aimed at increasing factory-line speeds.“If only these type of measures had been implemented early on, they would have resulted potentially in some lower output numbers for March and April but then you wouldn’t have had the big spikes in Covid-19 incidents,” said Peter van der Werf, senior engagement specialist at Robeco, a Dutch firm with $190 billion under management. Companies would probably also have avoided factory shutdowns, he said.Tyson said in a written response that the health and safety of its team members is its top priority and the reason it has put in place additional safeguards, protocols and guidelines. They include taking temperatures, installing dividers, requiring the use of face coverings and designating monitors to help enforce social distancing.JBS and its Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. chicken unit said they routinely and transparently engage with investors and have implemented similar measures to keep workers safe in the pandemic.Investor pressure on meatpackers isn’t new. Members of the ICCR network have actively engaged with producers for many years and have advocated for less antibiotics use. Some have also addressed animal welfare and water stewardship. More recently, the FAIRR network has been imploring the industry to reduce its carbon footprint.While worker rights have come to the forefront in the pandemic, such issues aren’t new either. The American Baptist Home Mission Society has for two straight years filed shareholder proposals on human rights due diligence with Tyson. The latest one was rejected at the company’s annual meeting in February, shortly after the first coronavirus case was confirmed in the U.S. Tyson’s board advised shareholders to vote against that proposal, arguing the company’s policies and practices adequately address the concerns raised, according to filings.Shareholder activism has been more prevalent in energy and mining than in the food sector, largely because founding families or private owners still control voting rights. That’s the case with the top poultry companies in the U.S.: Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride.The Tyson family, for instance, owns all Class B shares, which gives it a 10 to 1 voting advantage, meaning not even all the Class A holders would be able to outvote the family.That’s why passing shareholder proposals is almost impossible, said Mary Beth Gallagher, executive director of Investor Advocates for Social Justice, who has been engaging with the company for seven years.Oxfam filed similar proposals that didn’t gather enough support at the annual general meetings of Pilgrim’s Pride and Sanderson Farms Inc. earlier this year. The NGO also sent a letter to poultry companies on April 16 requesting measures including paid sick leave, said Alex Galimberti, senior advocacy and collaborations adviser for U.S. domestic programs at Oxfam.“This sector has a history of not respecting human and worker rights,” Galimberti said. “Its objective has been short-term profit without protecting the long-term sustainability of the sector. Now we see the industry’s fragility.”Sanderson Farms said it hasn’t received investor pressure regarding worker safety during the pandemic. The company has laid out the steps it’s taking in a call with investors and added that it runs the slowest line speeds in the industry.Divestment is still an option, but being an active owner is by far the most effective strategy, said Jeremy Coller, founder of the $20 trillion FAIRR investor network.In a 2019 report, Human Rights Watch described the pressure felt by meat workers, for whom even a bathroom break is sometimes hard to come by. The group also highlighted the increasing risk of accidents as companies continue to lobby for waivers that allow them to run production lines faster.“A worker in the meat and poultry industry lost a body part or was sent to the hospital for in-patient treatment about every other day between 2015 and 2018,” the organization said, citing data from Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA.The report also highlighted poor salaries, adding that wages in the meat and poultry industry fell below that of the national average for manufacturing jobs for the first time in 1983. That gap widened to 24% in 2002 and stands at 44% now.The meat crisis is also opening up space for alternative proteins.Lauren Compere, director of shareholder engagement at Boston Common Asset Management, says her company doesn’t invest in meat stocks due to their environmental, social and corporate governance focus. Still, she is engaging with supermarket chains exposed to the packers and asking them to dedicate more shelf space to plant-based alternatives.“As an asset manager, you have more options available to you, so we intentionally tilted our exposure to the food sector to companies where we feel there’s more of a focus and practice around health and well being,” she said.Many meat companies still aren’t disclosing the number of cases and deaths associated with their employees, and the executive order has allowed them to operate again after closures had eaten in their earnings. The ICCR statement is directed at the whole industry, but focuses on publicly traded companies.“We are concerned for the welfare of all essential workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 crisis in Colorado. In particular, given historic health and safety lapses, we are closely monitoring the meat processing facilities statewide,” said Colorado State Treasurer Dave Young. “It would be a grave error to not use this moment to push for systemic reform.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Tyson Foods says 570, or more than a quarter, of the workers at its Wilkesboro, N.C., facility have tested positive for coronavirus.
More Mexican steaks and other beef cuts are headed north of the border after the coronavirus outbreak has hobbled U.S. meat processing plants, potentially offsetting fears of shortages affecting businesses from fast-food chains to grocery stores but angering American ranchers. The Mexican industry chalks up the export growth to new safety measures adopted by plants, as well as relatively smaller-scale operations that have so far kept infections at bay and business humming. In the United States, there has been a surge of cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus, at slaughterhouses and meat processing plants.
Thousands of coronavirus cases have been linked to meatpacking plants. Are Tyson and its peers doing enough to protect employees and the public?
(Bloomberg) -- The human cost of producing 99-cent chickens and affordable burgers during a pandemic is pushing U.S. meatpackers to eye major operational changes that will likely make American meat more costly.Some plants are already running slower than normal to adhere to social distancing. But companies are also considering how best to redesign their operations to prevent infections, including by automating some lines altogether. The likely result: higher costs for an industry dominated by the likes of Tyson Foods Inc. and JBS SA that’s been very efficient at pumping out cheap meat.The changes are arriving as concerns mount over mega-plants staffed with low-paid workers operating elbow-to-elbow. More than 10,000 meat workers have been infected by the coronavirus, and at least 30 have died, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.“Americans want to buy cheaper and cheaper and cheaper food,” said Matthew Wadiak, founder of Cooks Venture, a small chicken producer selling directly to consumers. “We need to figure out how to pay a little bit more, because what’s the cost of a human life? It’s a lot more than 25 cents at the checkout.”Workers at meatpacking plants continue to fall ill, even with barriers placed between them, more protective equipment and enhanced social-distancing measures in common areas including cafeterias and locker rooms.While President Donald Trump has ordered plants to reopen, many are running at slower-than-usual rates to try to reduce the spread. Reducing plants to a third of their capacity and distributing the adequate protective equipment could boost chicken prices at grocery stores by 25% to 30%, according to Sanchoy Das, a professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.“The 99-cents per pound chicken could be in short supply very quickly,” said Das, whose research focuses primarily on supply chain modeling and analysis.Tyson’s operating costs are sharply higher due to the novel coronavirus and running into the hundreds of millions of dollars, Chief Executive Officer Noel White and Chief Financial Officer Stewart Glendinning said at the BMO Farm to Market virtual conference on Wednesday. That includes $120 million in bonus for employees, personal protection equipment as well as factory shutdowns and slowdowns.The bulk of America’s beef and pork are processed in a few dozen giant plants that handle thousands of animals in lines that have been allowed to run faster and faster. Tyson, JBS and Cargill Inc. control about two-thirds of America’s beef. Pork and chicken production is similarly concentrated.The outbreak could also help accelerate automation plans companies have already in the works. Tyson has said it is investing “aggressively” in automating the most difficult tasks within its plants. The company is installing robots in the deboning areas of its poultry plants, and also has initiatives in beef and pork.“You are going to see a bifurcation where the larger, more profitable facilities are going to move toward a vastly more automated meat processing facility,” said Decker Walker, an agribusiness expert at Boston Consulting Group. “Incentives for automation have never been higher.”Pilgrim’s Pride Corp. was increasing its use of automation and robotics even before the pandemic. The company invested more than $30 million in automation last year, projects that are helping plants to run efficiently in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.“We believe in automation, we believe in robotics, and we’re going to continue to move down that path,” Chief Executive Officer Jayson Penn said in an April 30 call with analysts.Meat processing is usually a low-margin business, meaning companies will be wary of overspending. While there’s probably going to be a lot of change in the way packers do business, consumers will pay for it in the long run, said Steve Meyer, an economist at consultancy Kerns & Associates.“This whole system was designed to produce quality products at the most reasonable cost possible, so you don’t go and add a lot of extra cost to go handle a once-in-a-100-year situation,” Meyer said. “But you also don’t turn a blind eye to the fact that people are sick and some people died. So I think there will be some changes made.”Another way to reduce infections, especially in poultry plants, would be to produce more whole chickens, as cutting up birds into legs and thighs requires more labor, said Das of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.Consumers in the U.S. can afford to pay a bit more for their meat, said Wadiak of Cooks Venture. That would increase wages and help avoid shared living accommodation, which has been a challenge for meat plant workers looking to adhere to social-distancing practices.“When the budget is tight, it’s hard to put food on the table, it’s hard to feed your family, I really, really get that,” he said. “But if that means you are putting food on your table at the cost of someone else’s life, it’s not worth it.”(Updates with Tyson CEO, CFO comments in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Even as President Donald Trump urges getting people back to work and reopening the economy, an Associated Press analysis shows thousands of people are getting sick from COVID-19 on the job.
(Bloomberg) -- Twenty Democratic attorneys general urged President Donald Trump to enforce stricter safety standards for meat-processing workers under his executive order reopening packing plants.“The industry’s workers are risking their lives to maintain production in these facilities under extremely unsafe working conditions,” the attorneys general wrote Trump in a letter Tuesday.The letter, signed by attorneys general for 19 states and the District of Columbia, cited news reports that at least 45 meat processing workers have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began and at least 10,000 cases have been tied to meatpacking plants.The letter calls on Trump to require priority coronavirus testing for all meat-processing workers covered by the executive order, immediate access to personal protective equipotent for the workers, and mandatory six-feet space for social distancing at facilities or, where not possible, installation of plexiglass barriers.“If the president wants to force workers to toil away in extremely unsafe conditions, then he must enforce the protections they deserve,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, one of the signatories of the letter, said in a statement. “It is unacceptable to expect working families to bear the burden of this crisis alone.”Trump issued an executive order April 28 calling on meat processors to reopen after a series of shutdowns due to the pandemic dramatically reduced slaughter capacity, sending pork and beef prices surging while farmers with no place to sell hogs began culling herds at huge financial losses.Following the order, The U.S. Agriculture Department asked all meat processors to come up with plans to meet safety guidelines for the industry released by the CDC and reopen their facilities. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Friday that 14 major meat processing facilities were reopening.The attorneys general said the CDC standards are effectively voluntary at the moment.“Without making these standards mandatory and taking decisive action to enforce them, the Administration will fail in its duty to provide meaningful protection to workers that have been deemed essential to maintaining our food supply,” they wrote. “The toll may be thousands more falling victim to this disease.”Large portions of the workforces at some U.S. meat-processing facilities have tested positive for the virus. A Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Perry, Iowa, had 730 cases, representing 58% of employees, Sarah Reisetter, deputy director for the state’s health department, said last Tuesday. At another Tyson plant, in Waterloo, Iowa, there were 1,031 reported cases among about 2,800 employees as of Thursday, said Joseph Pikora, disease surveillance manager for the Black Hawk county health department. Both plants reopened last week.Conditions at meatpacking plants -- including difficulty maintaining social distance and adhering to heightened cleaning standards -- contributed to the spread of the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in a May 1 report.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The coronavirus spread at more than twice the national rate in U.S. counties with major meatpacking plants in the first week after President Donald Trump issued an executive order directing that they be reopened.Confirmed Covid-19 cases jumped 40% during the week following the order in counties with major beef or pork slaughterhouses, compared with a 19% rise nationally, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The counties accounted for 10% of new confirmed cases from April 28 to May 5 while representing just 7.5% of the U.S. population.Infections climbed even faster where slaughterhouses were outside major population centers, and may have a greater impact. The disparity underscores the extent to which the areas around meat processors -- many located in rural regions far away from initial hot spots -- have become epicenters of the virus. The data doesn’t address other types of industrial facilities that may be in those counties.The situation worsened in the first week after Trump’s April 28 executive order despite temporary closures at many meat plants. The county-level data in most parts of the country doesn’t identify the employers of people infected.Virus outbreaks at meatpacking plants are likely now spreading more widely in surrounding communities, said Nicholas Christakis, director of Yale University’s Human Nature Lab and a specialist in how contagion travels through social networks.“We cannot somehow think that we can ignore a hotspot near us and not be affected by it,” Christakis said. “What starts in a meatpacking plant doesn’t stay in a meatpacking plant.”The Trump administration has pressed to reopen meat plants after a series of shutdowns due to the pandemic dramatically reduced slaughter capacity, sending pork and beef prices surging while farmers with no place to sell hogs began culling herds at huge financial losses.Thousands InfectedLarge portions of the workforces at some U.S. meat-processing facilities tested positive for the virus.A Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Perry, Iowa, had 730 cases, representing 58% of employees, Sarah Reisetter, deputy director for the state’s health department, said on Tuesday.At another Tyson plant, in Waterloo, Iowa, there were 1,031 reported cases among about 2,800 employees as of Thursday, said Joseph Pikora, disease surveillance manager for the Black Hawk county health department.At Smithfield Foods Inc.’s plant in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, preliminary results show 870 infected people of the 3,268 workers and family members tested, Governor Kristi Noem said.All three plants have started to reopen.Conditions at meatpacking plants -- including difficulty maintaining social distance and adhering to heightened cleaning standards -- contributed to the spread of the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded in a May 1 report.At least 30 meat workers have died of coronavirus and more than 10,000 have been infected or exposed, according to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union. At least 30 plants have closed at some point in the past two months, the union said May 8.The industry attributes the high infection rates to aggressive testing. “There is no other industry or community that is monitoring their people as diligently as we are, except maybe healthcare,” said Sarah Little, a spokeswoman for the North American Meat Institute.Read More: How Will the U.S. Meat Industry Change From Coronavirus?Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Friday that 14 major meat processing facilities were reopening. The department asked all meat processors to come up with plans to meet safety guidelines for the industry released by the CDC.The counties studied house beef or pork slaughterhouses that the U.S. Department Agriculture has ranked in the largest category on a 1-to-5 scale.In counties with major slaughterhouses that have less than 1 million people, there was a 47% increase in confirmed cases for the week. Those 72 counties accounted for 5.8% of the nation’s new infections, though they represent only 3.1% of national population.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance’s Heidi Chung joins Zack Guzman to break down how the U.S. meat industry is facing new pressures amid the coronavirus, as Reuters reports domestic meat processing plants are exporting more to China.
Beyond Meat had a wild first year as a public company. Given the stock (BYND) now trades nearly three times higher than its 52-week low, investors must ask themselves whether Beyond Meat can justify the expectations baked into its stock price. The future profit growth baked into the current stock price assumes the company faces no competition and will achieve 150% market share of the entire meat substitute market while also increasing margins.
A portfolio manager at one of world’s leading hedge funds has launched an attack against America’s largest meatpacking companies over their alleged part in breaking the U.S. food supply chain.
SPRINGDALE, Ark., May 08, 2020 -- The Board of Directors of Tyson Foods, Inc. (NYSE: TSN), at a meeting on May 7, 2020, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.42 per share on.
Large meatpacking plants have become hotspots for coronavirus infection, along with jails and nursing homes. As of May 1, nearly 5,000 packing plant workers in 19 states had fallen ill, and 20 had died. Packing plants from Washington state to Iowa to Georgia have temporarily suspended operations, although President Trump has invoked the Defense Production Act in an effort to quickly restart these facilities.
Wendy’s, Costco and Kroger have been impacted by disruptions to the beef supply chain due to COVID-19.