Tyson Foods, known for matters of meat, took out a full page New York Times ad over the weekend in which the company shared its assessment that "the food supply chain is breaking" amid COVID-19 closures.
"As pork, beef, and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain," John Tyson, Chairman of the Board at Tyson Foods, said in the accompanying statement. "As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed."
The lengthy statement, which sees Tyson detailing how the company has amended its operations due to the novel coronavirus and how those amended operations will affect what he characterizes as the company's "responsibility to feed our nation and the world," also includes a call for private and public sectors to work together:
In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue. Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation. Millions of animals – chickens, pigs, and cattle – will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities. The food supply chain is breaking.
The Tyson statement, of course, has been met with support from those in the U.S. who have been calling for a "reopening" of the country despite no clearly defined plans toward COVID-19 containment in the near future. Detractors, meanwhile, have pointed out that Tyson Foods is not the lone supplier of meat in the country, not to mention the fact that alternative foods are available.
As always, please hit up the CDC for the latest on COVID-19.