Smithfield Foods said “historic flooding” caused by Hurricane Matthew carried floodwater to three of its contract farms but so far has not received any reports of lagoon breaches or extensive site damage.
Hurricane Matthew hammered America’s south-eastern seaboard with heavy rain earlier this month. The storm – which has claimed the lives of 1,000 people in Haiti and 44 in the US – brought transportation along two key US roads, Interstate 95 and Interstate 40, to a 10-day closure. Flood levels rose to the highest recorded in nearly 500 years, with the storm causing widespread devastation to communities across the eastern half of North Carolina, as well as Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Over 35 tons of meat donated
“The effects of this storm were severe, and I could not be more proud of our North Carolina employees and their response in the face of adversity,” said Kenneth Sullivan, Smithfield’s president and CEO, in a press statement.
“I am thankful to be a part of the Smithfield family, and proud that we are able to provide support to the entire area as they begin to pick up the pieces.”
Through Smithfield’s Helping Hungry Homes relief intuitive, the business, which claims to the world’s largest pork processor, has donated 75,000 pounds of meat to local food banks. The business has also pledged a $25,000 donation to the American Red Cross in North Carolina to help support its employees and the wider community devastated by Hurricane Matthew.
Now that the storm has passed, the 10,000 staff employed by Smithfield Foods across North Carolina are expected back at work, with the business eager to make up for lost production time. To help employees, Smithfield has rolled out counselling sessions and legal consultations, as well as hot meals and transportation to staff feeling the after-effects of Hurricane Matthew.