SPRINGDALE, ARK. — A recent injunction by Tyson Foods Inc. was filed in Washington County Circuit Court in Arkansas against former employee Brian Baker and poultry competitor Foster Farms Inc. 

Tyson argued that Baker could not take a new job at Foster Farms without misappropriating trade secrets and confidential information.

Baker worked at Tyson Foods beginning in 2004. His most recent job was vice president of poultry optimization, which he started in October 2021. Baker resigned his position on June 6.

“Baker is a former employee of Tyson and is currently employed by or will soon be employed by Foster Farms, a direct competitor of Tyson,” the lawsuit stated.

In the lawsuit, Tyson said Baker was responsible for executing the poultry division’s pricing and profit margin strategies, which the company is arguing gives him access to intimate knowledge of confidential information.

Tyson also said that on May 2019 Baker signed a non-competition agreement, stipulating that he could not work for any Tyson competitors until 12 months after leaving the company. 

“We are obligated to enforce non-compete contracts to protect our business and ensure fair competition,” a Tyson spokesperson said. “Because Brian Baker had direct and recent access to confidential company information and extensive knowledge of our business strategies, his agreement with Tyson Foods expressly forbids him from working at a competitor where his responsibilities would be similar to any position he recently held with Tyson.”

The lawsuit comes during the same time period when Atlas Holdings acquired Foster Farms and named former Tyson chief executive officer, Donne Smith, to the position of chairman of the board and CEO.