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BPI starts $10M fund for employees laid off after ‘pink slime’

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The Roth family has established a $10 million fund to benefit former BPI employees that were negatively affected by plant closures in 2012. After ABC’s false reporting regarding the companies and Lean Finely Textured Beef, BPI was forced to lay off approximately 750 employees and close three of its production facilities in Amarillo, Texas, Garden City, Kansas, and Waterloo, Iowa.

“We remain committed to our employees and communities and so are dedicating $10 million to benefit the employees who lost their jobs in 2012,” noted BPI founder Eldon Roth. “While it took us longer to get here than we had hoped, we are pleased to finally be able to re-connect with those former employees and see what we can do to help them continue to recover.”

Headquartered in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, BPI companies filed suit against ABC News in 2012 after the network ran a month long disinformation campaign targeting Lean Finely Textured Beef, the companies’ core product. With an immediate business decline by approximately 80 percent due to the media campaign, BPI was forced to close production facilities in Amarillo, Texas, Garden City, Kansas, and Waterloo, Iowa. They also reduced staff at the sole remaining facility is South Sioux City, Nebraska and at the corporate headquarters in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota. The case went to trial in June, 2017 and a settlement was announced on June 28, 2017.

“The effects of the ABC News campaign were felt by more than just our employees and certainly continue on through today as we continue to operate only one of the four production facilities,” said Rich Jochum, corporate administrator for the companies. “Only after we are able to re-establish markets and re-open the other plants will cattle producers, consumers, and others that relied upon our production to add value to their communities be able to recover.”

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