Tyson Foods’ efforts to operate responsibly and with more transparency are outlined in the company’s first comprehensive sustainability report since its 2014 acquisition of The Hillshire Brands Company.
For the first time, the online report is being issued in segments over five weeks, beginning with the March 16 release of an update on the company’s animal well-being efforts. Upcoming segments will cover corporate giving, environmental stewardship, product development and workforce.
Each segment is designed to highlight the company’s performance in an open, honest and understandable way, which reflects Tyson Foods’ commitment to share its successes and challenges in a meaningful and relevant manner.
“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.”
The animal well-being segment features more detailed information on the TysonFarmCheck program, which involves on-farm, third party animal well-being audits.
“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.”
Tyson Foods addressing concerns about antibiotics
Tyson Foods also continues to do its part to address global concerns about antibiotic resistance. The company is making progress toward its goal of eliminating the use of human antibiotics in its broiler chicken flocks by the end of September 2017. The sustainability report details the company’s limited use of human antibiotics in its chicken business during the company’s 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,” said Daugherty.
In 2015, Tyson Foods also began forming working groups with independent farmers, feedlot operators and others to discuss ways to reduce the use of human antibiotics on cattle, hog and turkey farms. The company also offers consumers the option of chicken, beef and pork from animals raised without antibiotics.
Other animal well-being highlights in the new sustainability report include:
- Development of a formal animal well-being policy that recognizes the importance of the internationally-recognized Five Freedoms for animal well-being.
- Installation of third-party remote video auditing of live bird handling at the company’s U.S. chicken plants.
- Plans to offer additional annual training for farmers who raise broiler chickens for the company.
Additional video comments from Daugherty can be found online.