August 4, 2020
Tyson Foods wants to lift ban on exports to China from its Arkansas poultry plant
Dean Banks, Tyson Foods president said they hope to discuss with China about lifting a ban on exports to the country imposed on its Arkansas poultry plant, where workers were detected to have COVID-19, Reuters reported.
In June, China's General Administration of Customs banned poultry imports from Tyson Foods' Springdale, Arkansas plant as part of the country's efforts to combat COVID-19. More than 20 overseas pork, beef and poultry plants have been suspended because of this measure.
Banks said they are in discussions with Chinese authorities.
After a five-year ban on poultry exports from the United States to China was lifted in November last year, China has become the biggest export market for US poultry.
On July 3, Banks was named Tyson Foods' chief executive and reported lower quarterly earnings affected by COVID-19.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said there are more than 16,000 workers infected with COVID-19 in the meatpacking industry.
Jim Sumner, USA Poultry & Egg Export Council president said the US is lucky that only one US plant was suspended from exports. According to Brazil's agriculture ministry, six plants in Brazil have been suspended from exports to China.
China is currently investigating if COVID-19 can infect imported meat and seafood, but processors said the virus cannot be transmitted through food.
China had boosted its meat imports after its domestic pork supply was decimated due to COVID-19.
Banks said there is a holdup at Chinese ports due to stringent COVID-19 testing.