We are committed to sourcing quality ingredients from suppliers and upholding transparent supply chain practices.
Tyson Foods works closely and proactively with strategic procurement partners to leverage responsible practices in our commodities and ingredient supply chain. We invest billions each year in commodities and ingredients needed to run our day-to-day operations, including agricultural commodities such as wheat, corn, rice, soy, dairy and vegetables. In addition, we buy ingredients that advance food safety, enhance flavor profiles and protect product integrity such as our own proprietary technologies that extend shelf life.
Our trusted ingredient suppliers are committed to the same high level of food safety as we are. Suppliers are required to comply with regulations and standards relevant to their operations as set forth by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), including compliance with Good Manufacturing Practice and implementation of Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points programs. Our suppliers must also be certified by GFSI.
Supply Chain Transparency
Supply chain visibility is critical to the effective and sustainable management of both our domestic and international supply chains. We purchase all feed ingredients from domestic suppliers, which supports U.S. farmers and businesses. The remaining ingredients are sourced from various locations across the globe. International suppliers are subject to the sourcing regulations and policies of their home country as well as U.S. food safety regulations.
We are leveraging advanced technology to enable greater transparency and traceability. For example, Tyson Fresh Meats recently announced a collaboration with IdentiGEN to use DNA Traceback® technology to trace meat used for Open Prairie® Natural Angus Beef and Natural Pork back to the individual animal of origin. The most advanced meat traceability system available, IdentiGEN’s DNA TraceBack program will use DNA samples from animals entering the program to trace the origin of individual cuts of meat as they move through the supply chain. This will give consumers confidence that the Open Prairie products they buy were sourced from ranches where animals were raised to meet specific requirements, such as no antibiotics ever and no added hormones.
Tyson Local Grain Services
We’re committed to keeping local grain local within our supply chain. We actively build resources for and relationships with grain farmers who provide locally grown corn for our birds, through our Local Grain Services (LGS) program. LGS increases the number of farmers who sell direct, while decreasing supply chain inefficiencies and waste—a win-win for our grain suppliers and our business. In 2019, we purchased 70 million bushels of corn directly from local farmers.
LGS supports education and resource programs for local grain farmers. This includes connecting with local farmers to support them in establishing sustainable farming practices and working with NGOs and commodity associations to help drive sustainability practices on the farm level. Our website and mobile platform offer weekly market commentary for farmers, personalized push notifications, and opportunities to sponsor and partner with organizations benefiting local grain farmers. An on-farm pickup program provides logistical support for farmers to sell more grain directly to Tyson Local Grain Services. We also launched a new FlexPrice™ program for farmers to take advantage of tools to create custom pricing strategies. In addition, suppliers can reach buyers directly by phone or email.
Working Toward Greater Forest Protection
Part of sustainably feeding the world is ensuring the commodities we source support responsible forest management. Tyson Foods is on a journey to better understand and manage our deforestation risk. We initially assessed the risk of deforestation in our supply chain in 2017 and found low to no risk, and due to the international growth of our business, decided to reassess in 2019. Tyson Foods engaged Proforest, an independent organization focused on sustainability in the forest and agricultural sectors and implementation of responsible sourcing practices, to conduct a deforestation risk assessment across our global agriculture supply chain. The assessment will help identify any risk in our sourcing origins, focusing on commodities such as cattle, palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and paper.
The output of this work will inform the development of a Tyson Foods Forest Protection Policy, which will be shared with NGOs, customers and other relevant stakeholders. We anticipate the policy will be supported by an implementation plan providing options to mitigate or eliminate any identified deforestation risks. We will share more details on this work in our 2020 Sustainability Report.
While our Forest Protection Policy takes shape, Tyson Foods is also engaging with stakeholders on specific agricultural commodities. In 2019, we became a member of the Roundtable for Sustainable Soy (RTRS). With our rapid global expansion, we recognize the differences in supply chains around the world and are committed to responsibly sourced soy. Joining RTRS is one step to improving the social, environmental and economic sustainability of the soy sector globally. As a member of RTRS, we purchase credits for soybean meal used to feed chickens in our supply chain in global regions that may source from high-risk areas. Our commodity purchasing group purchases RTRS-certified soy credits; these credits ensure responsibly raised soy verified by RTRS. Tyson Foods is also a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil, a civil organization that works with palm oil industry stakeholders to develop global standards to define and certify sustainable palm oil.