NPPC seeks labor solution amid coronavirus concerns


The National Pork Producers Council warned that the novel coronavirus could make the labor shortage the U.S. pork industry is already facing significantly worse.

The NPPC has reached out to the president and other administration officials seeking expedited solutions addressing the need for more workers on hog farms and in pork plants. The NPPC also sent letters to members of Congress and state governors. The orgnization wants to make sure the administration develops plans that support animal care and minimize disruptions to the pork production supply chain.

“School closures preventing parents from going to work and caring for their animals are already a concern in farm and plant communities,” said NPPC President Howard “A.V.” Roth, a hog farmer from Wauzeka, Wisconsin. “The specter of market-ready hogs with nowhere to go is a nightmare for every pork producer in the nation. It would result in severe economic fallout in rural communities and a major animal welfare challenge.”

The NPPC also reminded consumers and producers that the industry was already facing challenges unrelated to the coronavirus.

“Even without the additional challenge presented by COVID-19, the labor shortage threatens to increase production costs and food prices for consumers,” a news release said. “Existing visa programs are designed for seasonal agriculture, and reform is needed to address the animal care and other requirements of year-round livestock agriculture.”