NCC on Friday sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue requesting relief for family farmers due to potential supply chain effects related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

“As a result of reduced workforce at processing plants, foodservice demand vanishing virtually overnight, historically high cold storage supply levels and a potential loss of international trade market access due to the recent detection of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI), some chicken processors have begun to reduce eggs set to reflect decreased demand and to avoid any potential animal welfare concerns,” the letter read. “One implication of trying to manage the supply chain in this way is the potential of delayed bird placements to family farmers that chicken processors partner with to raise chickens.”

The letter requested that Secretary Perdue utilize the resources made available to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Coronavirus Aid, Response and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including $14 billion in funding authorized to the Commodity Credit Corporation as well as $9.5 billion authorized at Secretary Perdue’s discretion designed to assist distressed agricultural producers as a result of COVID-19.

“We are also aware of President Trump’s recent directive to provide relief to farmers and ask that you include relief for chicken farmers who may be directly impacted by reduced demand for chicken,” the letter continued.

“NCC eagerly looks forward to partnering with you and Vice President Pence’s Task Force and the many dedicated officials at the Department to continue to work toward creative solutions to target help to America’s family farmers, including those who raise broilers in partnership with NCC processor members. Please advise how best we can help facilitate the implementation of such relief efforts in a timely and constructive way.”

The letter can be found here.