Quarles Praises Trump Administration's Invoking Defense Production Act To Protect Meat Supply, Workers
Quarles Cautions About Processing Plant Bottlenecks
FRANKFORT, KY (April 28, 2020) – Agriculture Commissioner Dr. Ryan Quarles released the following statement after President Donald J. Trump announced plans to invoke the Defense Production Act to order meat-processing plants to remain operational and provide protective equipment to workers in the industry.
“I applaud President Trump for invoking the Defense Production Act to protect America’s food supply and the workers on the front lines turning raw agricultural products into food products we all need,” said Commissioner Quarles. “We’ve already seen how temporary plant shutdowns in others states can have a major ripple effect on our way of life: a decline in livestock and poultry prices, and rumors of protein shortages in grocery stores. While America’s food supply is safe and abundant, we are seeing bottlenecks at processing facilities and as a result, Americans should be prepared for more limited protein options in the next couple of weeks. President Trump’s decision will help reduce disruption in our food supply chain and better help protect workers.”
On April 22, Commissioner Quarles and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 227 president Bob Blair wrote a letter to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, urging the state to allow expanded testing access for Kentucky’s meat-processing workers and a place in line for personal protective equipment as both become more available. The letter also included a request for expanded childcare benefits for these workers, much like what the state has already extended to first responders and medical personnel.