Response to COVID-19

Goals

To find case studies in agriculture, energy, higher education and manufacturing of how companies are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Early Findings

Agriculture

  • Farmers will have already made production decisions for the year, so despite possible interruptions to the food supply chain, things will have to proceed as 'normal' to an extent.
  • Smaller farmers who depend on direct sales will be significantly impacted.
  • Some other impacts will be a shortage in labor for in-person operations and a drop in commodity pricing.
  • Smithfield Foods, a major food (meat) processor, has issued its response to the pandemic. For its in-person operations, the company has introduced deeper and more frequent cleaning protocols, paid 14-day quarantines for workers who are exposed, increased social distancing, temperature checks and new plexiglass barriers.
  • The company also issued a $500 bonus to its team members to thank them for their hard work.
  • Smithfield is also donating $3 million in cash and products to Feeding America and other local food banks.
  • The CEO also issued a pledge to "sustain the food system", maintaining its upstream and downstream supply chain relationships.

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