The SACC hosted the April GML on Thursday, April 15, 2021, at the beautiful ballroom at Dove Pointe in Salisbury, MD. More than fifty chamber members and local leaders in attendance at the socially distanced luncheon.
The featured speaker was Randy Day, Chief Executive Officer for the Perdue Farms senior leadership team. That team includes Perdue Foods, Perdue AgriBusiness, and Perdue Farms. Mr. Day is only the fourth CEO in the company’s 101-year history.
Mr. Day presented a look back on the significant impacts the Covid-19 pandemic had on the entire Perdue operation. He applauded federal, state, and local officials for their timely communications and cooperation amidst the pandemic. On the company side, weekly briefings at the highest levels in Perdue tracked the business impacts, various compliance issues issued by the CDC and state governments as well as local conditions that needed to be addressed.
Day noted some of the initial challenges, “We needed to procure over one-million masks at the beginning, a challenge our purchasing agents had never dealt with”. He added, “I am most proud of our associates, nearly 20,000 strong, who worked hard to stay safe and comply with the changes in all of our plants.”
In response to an audience member question, “some of these operational changes are here to stay for our industry.” On one Saturday early in the pandemic Perdue
staff installed more than 1,100 barriers in the plants to offer some protections for poultry plant staff.
Restaurant demand for fresh chicken dropped significantly but supplies to grocery stores were in record demand. Perdue launched an online platform for online sales and home delivery which has also been very successful. Mr. Day said, “We are not Amazon, but our team moved quickly to answer the online sales demand.”
In conclusion, Mr. Day noted the benefit vaccinations will have on the poultry business but more importantly on the population in an economy that is expected to recover in a very positive way.
The May General Membership luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 20, 2021, at the Black Diamond Lodge in Fruitland Maryland starting at 11:30 AM. The featured speaker will be Anthony Darby, CEO of Peninsula Wellness.