The Roth family which owns Beef Products Incorporated has announced they are establishing a ten million dollar fund to benefit former employees of the BPI companies and communities that were negatively affected by plant closures in 2012.
BPI was forced to lay off approximately 750 employees and close three production facilities in Amarillo, Texas, Garden City, Kansas, and Waterloo, Iowa at that time after national news reports that called the company’s Lean Finely Textured Beef product “Pink Slime.”
The president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce, Chris McGowan,says it’s an incredible commitment to the communities affected five years ago. “Here’s it’s been five years and one of the first things that this company and this family have done is said ‘we want to go back and help those people who were directly impacted five years ago,’ and I think that is an extraordinary development,” McGowan says.
BPI founder Eldon Roth released a statement that the company is “pleased to finally be able to reconnect with those former employees and see what we can do to help them continue to recover.”
McGowan says the Chamber will assist BPI in the review of applications for assistance from former employees. McGowan says this shows a tremendous commitment and he says it is “unprecedented in terms of benevolence and generosity.”
BPI filed suit against ABC News in 2012 after the network ran a month long campaign targeting Lean Finely Textured Beef and calling it “Pink Slime.” The case went to trial in June of 2017, and a settlement was announced on June 28th. Terms of the settlement were not released.
(By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City)