DAKOTA DUNES, S.D., Sept. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Roth family announced today that it is establishing a $10 million 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 of its production facilities in Amarillo, Texas, Garden City, Kansas, and Waterloo, Iowa at that time as a result of the false reporting regarding the companies and Lean Finely Textured Beef.
"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."
Rich Jochum and Jennifer Letch, corporate administrators for the companies will be coordinating efforts for review of applications for the funds from former employees with the help of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce and other organizations in the affected communities. Jochum noted, "BPI is seeking to partner with organizations in affected communities, including the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. We are early in the planning stages but will be kicking off the process next month. While we are still in the planning stages, participation criteria will likely include such things as length of service with BPI, amount of potential unemployment, impact of the loss of employment, and similar factors."
The 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.
Jochum went on to comment, "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. 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."
Headquartered in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, the BPI family of companies consists of Beef Products, Inc., BPI Technology, Inc. and Freezing Machines, Inc.
Media contact: Rich Jochum-- firstname.lastname@example.org