Tyson Foods says it plans to rebuild the Holcomb, Kan., beef packing facility after a fire Friday night forced the plant’s closure, and is taking steps to minimize disruption to the beef supply chain.
In a statement released Sunday (Aug. 12, 2019) Tyson said it is still assessing the damage and a timeline has not been established, but work to clear the damage has already begun. The company said it will continue to pay workers and is “taking steps to move production to alternative sites.”
In the statement, Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats, said, “Tyson Foods has built in some redundancy to handle situations like these and we will use other plants within our network to help keep our supply chain full.”
Stouffer also said Tyson will pay full-time, active team members “weekly until production resumes.” He called the aftermath of the fire a “difficult time for our team members and their families, and we want to ensure they’re taken care of.”
Holcomb team members may be called on to work during the reconstruction to help with clean-up and other projects, but regardless of the hours worked, all full-time active employees are guaranteed pay, the statement said.
Stouffer commended plant management for quickly and efficiently evacuating the building, and noted there were no injuries as a result. He also commended the Garden City, Kan., fire department and the Finney County sheriff’s office.
Tyson Foods operates six plants in Kansas, employing more than 5,600 people. In the company’s fiscal year 2018, it paid $269 million in wages, and estimated its total economic impact in the state to be more than $2.4 billion.
Read about the Tyson fire here: