Tyson Foods focused on transparency

by Bob Sims
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SPRINGDALE, Ark. – Tyson Foods’ first comprehensive sustainability report since its 2014 acquisition of the Hillshire Brands Company outlines its efforts to operate responsibly and with more transparency.

For the first time, Tyson will issue the report in segments over five weeks beginning with today’s release that updates the company’s animal well-being efforts. Future segments of the report will address corporate giving, environmental stewardship, product development and workforce.

Tyson Foods wants to share its success and the challenges it faces in a meaningful way, and has designed each segment to highlight performance openly, honestly and in an understandable way.

Leigh Ann Johnston, Tyson Foods
Leigh Ann Johnston, director of sustainability

“Our newest report shows we’re committed to being more transparent about how we do business and our desire for continuous improvement,” said Leigh Ann Johnston, director of sustainability for Tyson Foods. “We’re providing more details — from how we’re reducing antibiotic use and auditing animal well-being on farms to our management of water and workplace safety — than ever before. We recognize that today’s consumers expect access to a new level of information so they know the food they buy is produced responsibly.”

Today’s animal well-being segment features detailed information on the Tyson FarmCheck program. The program involves third party well-being audits, as well as on-farm audits.

Christine Daugherty, Tyson Foods
Dr. Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable food production

“Fiscal 2015 was a year of progress for Tyson Foods but was not without challenges,” said Dr. Christine Daugherty, vice president of sustainable food production for Tyson Foods. “We’re humble enough to admit we’re not perfect and are working every day to strengthen our commitment to making sure the animals we depend on are treated properly.”

As part of its commitment to animal well-being, Tyson continues to address concerns regarding antibiotic resistance. The company’s goal to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in broiler chicken flocks by the end of September 2017 continues to make progress. The sustainability report details the limited use of human antibiotics in Tyson’s chicken business during the last fiscal year.

“We believe that through continued improvement in such areas as housing, sanitation and the use of probiotics, we can continue to improve bird health and reduce the need for human antibiotics,” Daugherty said.

Tyson Foods began forming working groups with independent farmers and feedlot operators in 2015. These groups and others came together to discuss how to lessen the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms. Tyson also offers products from animals raised without antibiotics.

The sustainability report also includes well-being topics such as remote video auditing of live bird handling at Tyson’s US chicken plants, additional training for farmers that raise Tyson broiler chickens and the development of a formal animal well-being policy recognizing the importance of the internationally-recognized Five Freedoms for animal well-being.

Click here to view the animal well-being segment of the sustainability report.

Click here to view comments from Dr. Daugherty about animal well-being at Tyson Foods.

Click here for additional information covering areas of housing, training and transportation not included in the sustainability report.

Tyson Foods Inc. employs approximately 113,000 team members in over 400 facilities and offices worldwide and is recognized as one of the largest food companies in the world. A market leader in chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods, Tyson brands such as Tyson, Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm, Sara Lee, Ball Park, Wright, Aidells and State Fair offer bacon, breakfast sausage, turkey, lunchmeat, hot dogs, pizza crusts and toppings, tortillas and desserts.      

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