Beef Products Inc. Hurricane Harvey Relief Effort

Beef Products Inc. employees drove trucks full of food products and equipment from South Dakota to Baytown, Texas, to help with Hurricane Harvey relief.

AP PHOTO

As we have said from the beginning, Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products Inc. didn’t deserve what we have described as a “shameful” “emotion-driven campaign of misinformation” in 2012 about its lean, finely textured beef (LFTB) — lost business, closed plants and laid-off workers.

A Sept. 27 story provided more evidence about BPI’s positive character.

In fashion both commendable and unsurprising for this well-regarded local corporate citizen, BPI followed up a confidential settlement in June of a $1.9 billion lawsuit against ABC News and correspondent Jim Avila related to LFTB reports by reaching out to impacted former workers.

Eldon Roth, BPI founder, late last month announced establishment of a $10 million fund to benefit them.

Some 750 BPI workers were laid off at the company’s corporate offices in Dakota Dunes and its plants in South Sioux City, Neb., Waterloo, Iowa, Amarillo, Texas, and Garden City, Kan. The latter three plants were closed.

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

The company plans to begin the process of collecting and reviewing applications for money from the fund this month.

Meanwhile, the road to recovery for BPI continues.

At the height of unfair controversy related to LFTB, sales of the product fell from about five million pounds to about 1.3 million pounds per week, according to the company. However, in remarks to the Sioux City Rotary Club in July, BPI co-founder Regina Roth said sales have increased to about three million pounds per week.

A rebound in sales — that’s something BPI deserves.

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