Because of the nature of Farbest’s business with live turkey operations and processing turkey meat, it falls into the category of “Essential Business Functions” according to the United States government and as a result, has remained in production in every aspect during the COVID-19 pandemic. Farbest proudly owns that responsibility, and our workforce has risen to the incredible challenge of producing a quality source of protein for our family and friends around the world during this time. The focus on safety of our employees has been ingrained in our culture for years before COVID-19, and that commitment has not wavered. As a company, we have been taking a multitude of precautions to protect our people beginning as early as mid-March, weeks before there were any confirmed cases in the counties we operate in.
Our message to employees has always been consistent—to stay home if sick and to make decisions that prioritize health and wellbeing. Again, weeks before there were any confirmed positive cases in our area, we had deployed an extensive procedure in the event of a confirmed positive case for identifying and monitoring the health of those deemed to be close contacts. We have adhered to, and in many cases exceeded, CDC guidelines for the protection of essential workers. Farbest processes and plans have been approved by the Indiana State Department of Health and the Dubois County Health Department. For a complete list of actions taken, please visit https://farbestfoods.com/farbest-foods-response-to-covid-19/. It has been the company’s mission to learn from others in the industry and to follow local, state, and national guidance. Farbest has cooperated with and sought the advice from our local and state health departments and hospitals daily. It is based on this expert input that we are partnering with Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Dubois County Health Department to test all employees at the Huntingburg facility on Friday, May 15th. At this time, there are 42 confirmed cases at Farbest’s Huntingburg plant, and we are striving to contain that number. Testing all employees at the Huntingburg plant is out of an overabundance of caution, as local and state health authorities do not believe there is spread of COVID-19 occurring within the plant at this time. It was a unanimous decision from all parties involved in order to protect Farbest employees and the people in our community from further exposure.
The goal of testing every individual is to identify the asymptomatic positive employees and have them self-quarantine at home for ten days. This will further protect the workforce and community health.
We are thankful for the heroes that work at Farbest—our nurses and our workforce made up of essential employees. We are also thankful for the joint guidance and resources from Memorial Hospital, the Indiana State Department of Health, and the Dubois County Health Department. We hope for a full recovery for those affected and wish good health to our team and their families as we progress through testing.