SPRINGDALE, Ark. — Tyson Foods is expanding its FarmCheck animal welfare program to include its beef and chicken suppliers, according to plans announced in 2012. A Tyson Foods manager told Iowa cattle producers on Monday that suppliers must meet the auditing requirements of the program in 2014 to qualify as a supplier to Tyson.

“When we launched the FarmCheck program in October 2012, we said we would expand auditing of chicken and cattle farms by January of 2014,” Tyson Foods spokesman Worth Sparkman told Meatpoultry.com of the program, which initially included hog farms supplying the company. “We’ve been conducting pilot audits and are developing finals for both species, so we’re on track to launch them [in January 2014]," he said. "Our FarmCheck program is a natural extension of our long-standing commitment to responsible farm animal care."

Tyson has posted more about the program at www.farmcheck.com.