The board chairman of Tyson Foods is warning that "millions of pounds of meat will disappear" from the national food supply chain as the coronavirus outbreak forces food processing plants to shutter.
"The food supply chain is breaking," John Tyson wrote in a full-page advertisement published Sunday in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
"There will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed," he wrote in the advertisement, which was also published as a blog post on the company's website.
In recent weeks, the major poultry producer has temporarily suspended operations at plants across the country. The company halted operations Wednesday at an Iowa plant that is crucial to the nation's pork supply.
"In addition to meat shortages, this is a serious food waste issue. Farmers across the nation simply will not have anywhere to sell their livestock to be processed, when they could have fed the nation," John Tyson wrote.
"Millions of animals — chickens, pigs and cattle — will be depopulated because of the closure of our processing facilities," he added.
Four employees of Tyson's operations in rural southwest Georgia died earlier this month after becoming infected with the coronavirus, a company spokesman told The Associated Press.