Weathers: Food and Fiber Industries Are Essential During Emergency

COLUMBIA — Agriculture, food production and food distribution are essential industries that provide food and fiber for all and play a critical role in the state’s economy. Never is this more true than during an emergency.

During the COVID-19 response, Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers is urging the food and fiber industry and its dedicated workforce to recognize their essential role in helping their fellow South Carolinians. The US Department of Homeland Security has released a list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” that includes food, agriculture and transportation workers. Workers in these industries should continue to report to work because they are vital to the food and health supply chain – while following CDC guidance to stay away if they are sick.

“In South Carolina, key industries like poultry and forestry are essential to feeding and caring for our population,” Weathers said. “During this unsettling time, as businesses take appropriate steps to keep their workers safe, food and fiber industry workers have a special responsibility to maintain their normal work schedules. I applaud the many workers helping to keep us all fed and healthy.”

“Working together, we will get through this difficult time,” Weathers said.