More than 500,000 workers across the U.S. pork industry remain committed to supplying Americans and consumers worldwide with safe, nutritious protein. Declared essential by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security at the onset of the COVID pandemic, hog farmers, veterinarians, livestock haulers, harvest facility employees and other workers across the pork supply chain play a vital role in our nation’s food security and rural economies.
The U.S. pork industry has made considerable investments to protect its essential workers on farm, in plants and across the supply chain. Meatpacking companies alone have invested more than $1.5 billion to implement new worker safety measures. These measures are working. According to the North American Meat Institute, COVID cases at meat and poultry harvest facilities have been significantly reduced and were five times lower in December 2020 than they were in May, while infections for the general population increased by nine times during the same period.
The National Pork Producers Council supports prioritizing COVID-19 vaccinations for essential pork supply chain workers, directly after healthcare workers and other high-risk individuals. We encourage our workers to get vaccinated as the best defense against the COVID-19 virus. For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, please visit this multi-lingual website from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We encourage those within the pork industry to share this information within your organization.