Smithfield Foods, International Paper remain operational

Published 10:34 am Wednesday, April 1, 2020

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Smithfield Foods and International Paper – two of Isle of Wight County’s largest industrial employers – remain fully operational despite the coronavirus pandemic that has swept the nation and world these past few weeks.

Each, however, has taken precautions to protect its employees.

We have instituted a series of stringent and detailed processes and protocols that follow the strict guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),” said Keira Lombardo, executive vice president of Corporate Affairs and Compliance at Smithfield Foods. “At all of our locations, we have enhanced the cleaning and disinfection of frequently touched objects and surfaces and are continuing to stress the importance of personal hygiene. We routinely employ personal protective equipment throughout our facilities, which covers employees’ heads, faces, hands and bodies.”

All Smithfield facilities and farms operate under strict biosecurity, she added, which currently restricts all nonessential visitors.

All these actions complement the extensive safety measures in place at all our locations across the country,” Lombardo said. “We continue to actively monitor CDC guidance, as well as that of state and local health authorities, and are immediately taking all necessary actions to protect our employees.”

The health and safety of our employees are paramount, and we continue to stress the importance of practicing social distancing, along with taking preventative hygiene measures recommended by the CDC,” said Jenny Dixon, communications manager for International Paper’s Franklin mill. “We continue to operate our business effectively, as International Paper bears a special responsibility to continue to operate our mills and converting plants to support the critical needs of the supply chain during this event.”