Ag News: Chilled U.S. Pork to Hong Kong and Tyson Plant Shuts Down
**Tyson Fresh Meats in Walla Walla County has shut down operations temporarily.
Health officials in Walla Walla, Benton and Franklin counties are working with the company to test its more than 1,400 employees for COVID-19 as soon as possible.
According to the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, as numbers of infected workers at the Wallula facility grew last week, family and friends of employees urged the meat-processing facility to shut down.
More than 100 cases have been linked to the Tyson plant.
**Late last year, with funding from the National Pork Board, the U.S. Meat Export Federation launched a campaign to expand retail sales of U.S. chilled pork in Hong Kong where the pork supply was decimated by African swine fever.
USMEF senior vice president, Joel Haggard says sales have gradually increased, and U.S. chilled pork is gaining traction there.
He says moving forward, USMEF is planning retail chilled pork promotions in mainland China and exploring opportunities in Vietnam.
**Lost or disrupted markets, plant closures and other effects of the COVID-19 pandemic add extra layers of uncertainty for California farmers and ranchers as peak harvest season approaches for a number of crops.
A food distribution system composed of many different channels continues working to reconfigure itself to match supplies with demand, including increased demand at food banks from people who’ve lost income due to the pandemic.