Indiana Packers Corporation in Delphi becomes the second pork processing plant in Indiana this week to announce suspended operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A note was sent to producers today (Friday) that they will shut down on Monday, April 27.
To date, IPC has 15 confirmed positive cases at their Delphi plant.
Indiana Packers joins a long list of meat processing plants across the country shutting down because of the coronavirus. Tyson in Logansport is shutting down operations by tomorrow (Saturday).
Josh Trenary, executive director of Indiana Pork, said in a statement,
“Indiana Pork recognizes the need for these plants to take special precautions to ensure worker safety. In the long run, if that’s what it takes to make sure plant employees are safe and plants can continue to operate then it’s all worth it. In the meantime though, these temporary shutdowns and other plant labor issues across the country are causing even more of a backup of pigs on farms. Severe backups can cause animal welfare issues that farmers may have to take drastic measures to resolve.
“Indiana farmers want access to markets and to continue to provide quality pork to consumers, but they need adequate packing capacity to do it. The decision to temporarily close Indiana Packers is a major detriment to pork farmers, especially in light of all other previous closures across the country. Worker safety must come first, and we know that that local and state health officials and Indiana Packers management are working quickly to get this important part of our pork industry up and running as soon as possible.”
In a press release Friday afternoon, IPC President & COO Russ Yearwood said, “Given the uncertainty so inherent with this pandemic we are committed to be as proactive as we possibly can so as to best ensure the health and safety of our team members. This short pause is part of the ongoing effort.”
The release also states that IPC officials recognize the impact this temporary closure will have on the community, including important partners in the farming and agriculture industry. IPC intends to restart operations as soon as possible.