Vice President Mike Pence’s Friday afternoon forum in Iowa about the nation’s food supply featured the C-E-Os of two of the nation’s major meat packers, allegations of price fixing in the industry from other panelists and the revelation that another packing plant worker has died of COVID-19.
Smithfield C-E-O Ken Sullivan said he spent Friday morning visiting one of his company’s plants and just before the forum with the vice president started, he’d been notified one of Smithfield’s employees had died.
OC…….to do that.” :30
Pence led the crowd in applause after Sullivan spoke.
The Vice President convened the event at HyVee headquarters in West Des Moines by praising grocery stores, truckers and meat packers.
Pence said processors of beef, pork and poultry industry had faced coronavirus challenges, but 14 previously closed plants were resuming operations.
OC……..food supply strong?” (fade) :08
Both of Iowa’s U.S. Senators and a national Farm Bureau leader were part Friday’s panel — and all three raised the issue of price fixing in the beef industry.
Senator Chuck Grassley bluntly said farmers want an explanation from meat packers.
OC………going up?” :06
Zippy Duvall, the American Farm Bureau’s C-E-O, said farmers are frustrated by the “rock bottom” prices for live cattle and the “sky high” wholesale prices for beef carcasses.
OC……..to explain.” :13
President Trump said earlier this week that he’s asked the Department of Justice to investigate allegations of market manipulation by Tyson, Smithfield, J-B-S and Cargill. The four companies account for about 80 percent of the beef market.