11/22/07

Kosher processor's letter to customers re. UFCW

Dear Customer:

It has come to my attention that you may have been the victim of a slanderous and patently false campaign by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.

You may have received their misleading flyer entitled “Kosher Alert” or an automated phone call with misinformation about products produced by Agriprocessors.

This is part of a textbook campaign by the Union to force a company into submission to unionize a plant even when it is against the wishes of the workers, which is the case at Agriprocessors.

The vicious tactics by the Union not withstanding, when someone makes allegations about practices in our company or the quality of our products, I take it personally. My family guarantees that all our products are safe and wholesome.

Let me assure you there are no recalls or food safety issues with our products. We have a moral obligation to produce the safest products for our customers and we take that obligation very seriously. The Rubashkin family has been supplying high quality kosher meat and poultry for over fifty years. Mr. Aron Rubashkin has earned his reputation of trust for Kosher, quality and food safety. That is why consumers across America rely on our product every day.

As you know, all of our products must earn the seal of wholesomeness by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) before they leave our plant. To produce safe food in our modern production facility, we and the on-site USDA inspectors maintain a constant vigilance. We are committed to continue to strive for improvement so that you are guaranteed of the safest and utmost quality products.

It is unfortunate that in today’s day and age of respect for democratic institutions, that the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW), refuses to abide by the wishes of the workers at Agriprocessors not to organize into a Union We would at any time respect the right of our employees to organize and join a union if they so choose.

We hope that you will now recognize the context of the disinformation that has been disseminated in our community in a brazen attempt to force the workers to unionize. We know, that like all fair-minded people that you will stand with our employees and their right to decide for themselves whether or not to have a union..

Ironically, the UFCW has targeted our food safety record that as you can see below is nothing less than stellar. Here are but a few highlights:

1. Concerns about Mad Cow disease are simply wrong. We have never had product from any suspect animals leave our plant.
2. Agriprocessors has had zero recalls in any of our raw, fresh or frozen poultry and beef products since we opened. Yes, not one recall in nineteen years.
3. The UFCW claims we have excessive reports of non-compliance. In covering the same UFCW report, the Cedar Rapids Gazette interviewed USDA spokesperson Amanda Eamich who was quoted as saying, “…. a plant the size of Agriprocessors might receive 9,000 inspections per year, of which 250 noncompliance findings remains ‘‘ a pretty small percentage.’’

We have always maintained an “open door” policy and encourage our customers to ask any questions that they may have about our products. We rely on our quality control systems and personnel, USDA oversight and independent auditing to assure the products safety and wholesomeness of our products. Rabbis and customers are welcome to tour our plants at any time to see our commitment at work first-hand.

We are proud of our commitment to the principles we established almost nineteen years ago.
The food we produce at Agriprocessors is safe and wholesome. You have my word on it.

We encourage you to ask questions and find out for yourself. To get the facts, visit our web site www.agriprocessor.com or e-mail me at asksholom@iowabestbeef.com.

We are most gratified by your continued support and thank you for helping make Agriprocessors the leader in kosher beef and poultry.

Sholom Rubashkin, Vice President, Nov. 14, 2007

(agriprocessor.com)

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