Tyson Foods works closely and proactively with our strategic procurement partners to leverage responsible practices in our commodities and ingredient supply chain.
The commodities and ingredients needed to run our day-to-day operations include 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.
For the feed we produce for our chickens, turkeys, and pigs in the United States, we source grain from domestic suppliers, which supports US farmers and businesses. There are some ingredients, such as vitamins, that 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.
Transparency is critical to the effective and sustainable management of both our domestic and international supply chains. We leverage advanced technology to enable greater transparency and traceability. For example, the Open Prairie® Natural* Meats brand teams offer full traceability and third-party verification of our process through the Trusted PathTM Program to bring fresh pork and Angus beef to our customers. Working closely with our independent partners throughout the supply chain, we ensure products never lose brand integrity and are traceable throughout the production process using strict specifications, maintained records, unique identification, and independent verification.
Additionally, through this program, Tyson Fresh Meats collaborates with IdentiGEN, the most advanced meat traceability system available, to use DNA Traceback®1 technology. This technology traces meat used for Open Prairie® Natural Angus Beef and Natural Pork back to the individual animal of origin to ensure that animals were raised to meet specific requirements, such as no antibiotics ever and no added hormones. Learn more about how our Open Prairie® Natural* Meats brand teams are putting transparency first.
Our Local Grain Services (LGS) program allows us to actively build resources for and relationships with local grain farmers who provide corn for our birds so we can meet our commitment to use grain locally within our supply chain.
This includes connecting with local farmers to support their sustainable farming practices and working with NGOs and commodity associations to help drive sustainability practices on the farm level. The LGS website and mobile platform offer the ability for farmers to contract grain and manage contracts for up to 18 months out, weekly market commentary for farmers, and personalized push notifications, LGS also offers 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. Within LGS, our FlexPrice™ initiative for farmers also allows them to take advantage of tools to create custom pricing strategies. In addition, suppliers can reach buyers directly by phone or email. Overall, our LGS program 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. Learn more about our LGS program.
Part of sustainably feeding the world is ensuring the commodities we source support responsible forest management. 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 with 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 helped identify risk in our sourcing origins, focusing on commodities such as cattle, palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and paper. It also helped us develop our Forest Protection Standard and implementation plan to mitigate our deforestation risks. Learn more about our commitment to protecting forests.
Tyson Foods also engages with stakeholders on specific agricultural commodities. We are 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. 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.
Tyson Foods is also a founding member of the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable Poultry and Eggs. Additionally, we are members of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.
1DNA Traceback is a trademark of IdentiGEN North America, Inc.