Tyson investors call for environmental, social changes

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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NEW YORK – A group of Tyson Foods’ investors as well as members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have filed five shareholder resolutions urging the company to make changes to certain environment, social and governance policies. The resolutions will be added to the company’s 2017 proxy ballot.

“The risks presented in these resolutions are significant and impact a broad group of stakeholders. Shareholders want the companies they invest in to use their influence to minimize environmental and social risk, and to have adequate corporate governance mechanisms in place,” said Nadira Narine, Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. “Our members continue to call on Tyson to authentically engage its shareholders and other stakeholders to proactively address these important issues.”

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) is a 300-member coalition of shareholder advocates.

The resolutions filed include:

1. Water Impacts of Business Operations: The resolution requests that Tyson adopt and implement a water stewardship policy designed to reduce the risks of water contamination at Tyson-owned facilities, facilities under contract to Tyson and Tyson suppliers. This resolution was filed on behalf of the American Baptist Home Mission Society (ABHMS).

“Tyson has paid significant fines for its water impacts and faces an ongoing criminal investigation by the EPA for its release of toxic pollutants into waterways. Apart from serious violations of the human right to water of impacted communities these breeches represent clear legal and financial risks that should be of concern to all shareholders,” said Michaele D. Birdsall of ABHMS.

2. Animal Welfare: The resolution asks Tyson to disclose the risks endangering the company and investors from emerging animal welfare issues and the steps the company has in place to address them. This resolution was sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.

“Study after study finds animal cruelty right at the top of consumers’ concerns about food production. As Tyson’s competitors and largest customers make moves to proactively address the biggest animal welfare concerns, Tyson appears to have fallen behind — putting investors at risk,” said proponent Matthew Prescott.

3. Board Diversity: The resolution requests that Tyson develop a report on the steps it is taking to foster greater diversity on its board, including the inclusion of women and minority candidates. This resolution is sponsored by Oxfam America.

“There is ample evidence that greater board diversity leads to improved performance on a variety of measures including the health and welfare of workers and general sustainability, as well as a reduction in reputational and legal risk. Given that nearly two-thirds of Tyson’s workforce is comprised of people of color, yet only one person of color sits on their board, we believe the company needs to do a better job of more intentionally promoting diversity,” said Oliver Gottfried of Oxfam.

4. Lobbying Disclosure: The resolution requests a report detailing policies and procedures governing Tyson’s direct or indirect lobbying activities and Tyson’s membership in, and payments to, tax-exempt organizations that write or endorse model legislation. The resolution was filed on behalf of Mercy Investment Services.

5. Plant-Based Eating: The resolution seeks to learn what steps Tyson will take to address risks to the business from the increase in plant-based eating. The resolution was sponsored by Green Century Capital Management.

“The demand for plant-based proteins is skyrocketing, and needs to be considered and accounted for in business planning. Failure to see around corners and adjust to changing demands places the company at a great disadvantage relative to its competitors in the food industry who are already innovating in this area,” said Marissa LaFave of Green Century Capital Management.

The resolutions are set to appear on the 2017 company ballot, to be voted by all shareholders at the next annual meeting in early 2017.

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READER COMMENTS (4)

By Cheryl Roberts 4/14/2017 9:06:31 PM
this is very good information. I really appreciate it.

By Me You 8/30/2016 12:31:37 AM
Randy Janssen is just another tool of the meat lobby who will say and do anything to keep the killers of millions of animals in business. Hope they choke to death on the next animal they eat.

By first last 8/28/2016 9:59:02 AM
@Randy Janssen I suppose all the undercover videos documenting animal abuses at numerous companies were staged just to "CONCOCT[ED] STORIES ABOUT ANIMAL ABUSE"?

By Randy Janssen 8/24/2016 2:55:32 PM
National animal rights groups like the HSUS, PETA and the ASPCA have become urban concentrated vegan cults. They raise millions of dollars by pretending to take care of dogs and cats, then spend it on attacks on any use of animals in our society such as agriculture, zoos, circuses, aquariums and hunting. Local shelters complain about their aggressive fund raising sucking up all the money, so animals go wanting. ALL THREE HAVE CONCOCTED STORIES ABOUT ANIMAL ABUSE. They have little or no experience with the animals they claim to protect and either misconstrue legitimate animal husbandry or take isolated instances of animal cruelty and say they are the norm. Their goal is to stop hunting by increments, passing laws against individual methods of hunting or shorten hunting seasons. They get away with this because of the urban population of the US is separated from its food production and livestock or wild animals. The country has become a society of small pet owners who view livestock the same as small lap dogs. If these groups have their way, primates will have the same rights as humans and meat eating will be outlawed. Ed Sayers a former head of the ASPCA, complains about the tactics of animal rights movement in an article called “Vigilante Animal Rights”. Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma, are passing laws and even constitutional amendments against the HSUS. Ohio and Arizona are passing laws that restrict cities from passing laws against pet stores that sell breeders animals. According to Bloomberg Financial Reports, their attack on food production is already causing an increase in cost. Because of this, poor people are suing to stop a HSUS sponsored law in Massachusetts. So unless you want to end up paying $10.00 a doz. for eggs, $20.00 a lb. for bacon $30.00 a lb. for chicken and $50.00 a lb. for beef, don't support these groups.