Tyson Foods works on regulatory and legislative policy issues that can have an impact on our business. We do this through our own involvement as an individual company and through membership in industry associations. Representatives from all parts of our company impact public policy through direct interaction with policymakers, as well as through participation on industry committees and advisory boards. We believe this interaction ensures our views on key issues are heard and help shape sound public policy. We see our engagement in both the policy and political processes as an important part of corporate sustainability.

Priority Issues
The following are among the most significant recent public policy issues for our company:

  • Balanced Food and Fuel Policies: We support the development and use of renewable fuels as a way to help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. However, public policy should not promote the production of renewable fuels, particularly corn-derived ethanol, at the expense of either our industry or consumers. In 2011, we supported efforts in Congress to end tax subsidies for corn ethanol and import tariffs on imported ethanol. We also supported introduction of legislation that would change the corn ethanol mandate to allow for a reduction in the mandate when corn stocks reach critical levels. In 2012, we supported efforts to temporarily waive the corn ethanol mandate in response to the severe drought that reduced projected corn yields. We are committed to working with Congress, and the current Administration, on policies that balance the promotion of biofuels with the interests of both our industry and consumers.
  • Immigration Reform: We believe comprehensive immigration reform is necessary, and therefore, closely monitor the issue. We value Team Members who are immigrants—legal immigrants. Our Team Members, immigrant and American born, want their children to enjoy greater opportunities and the stability that enables families to stay together and thrive. We feel that a comprehensive immigration reform bill should include border security, an improved employer verification system, a temporary worker program with a market-based regulator, and provide a pathway for citizens to earn legal status.
  • Environmental Improvement: We are committed to the adoption of best practices to improve environmental performance, both within our company and for the producers with whom we partner. A priority for our company during consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill has been strong funding levels for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Rural Energy for America Program. These programs provide critical funding to help livestock producers and poultry growers enhance their environmental stewardship practices.
  • Ensuring Food Safety: We are committed to working with the federal government to ensure the safest possible food supply for consumers in the United States and around the world. Issues around food safety, whether in the Congress or before federal agencies, are top priorities for our company. During consideration of the 2012 Farm Bill, our company identified adequate funding for the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) as a key concern. The funding from the ARS stations plays an important role in food safety research and advancing the industry.
  • International Trade: We exported protein to approximately 130 countries in fiscal year 2012 and our business relies on a rules-based trading system that ensures fair market access for all participants. We support trade policies that expand export opportunities and remove trade barriers to protein exports that are not consistent with established international health and safety standards. In 2011, we supported Congressional passage of U.S. free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama. We also support completion of a comprehensive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement that includes Japan and other key trading partners.

Corporate Contributions
Through campaign contributions to candidates for the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate, the Tyson Political Action Committee (TYPAC) helps build and maintain relationships with elected officials who support our industry and company. They understand our business and are grateful that we provide nearly 100,000 U.S.-based jobs. They appreciate the skill and care we dedicate to producing safe, delicious, and nutritious foods at affordable prices.

During fiscal years 2011 and 2012, TYPAC contributed approximately $186,000 dollars to candidates for federal offices for the 2011-2012 election cycle. TYPAC does not base its contributions on political party affiliation. As indicated in the preceding paragraph, we seek to support candidates who understand and appreciate our business and its importance to American consumers.

Memberships and Associations
Tyson Foods is a member of, or participant in, numerous industry groups and associations. We work with these groups and associations because they represent the food processing industry and business community in discussions with governmental agencies and other stakeholders. They are also instrumental in helping to reach industry consensus on important national policy issues. We have company representatives on the boards and committees of many of these groups and associations to ensure we have an avenue to voice questions, concerns, and opinions about policy or related activities.

Partial Listing of the Industry Groups, Associations, and Partnerships of Which We are Members or Participants

Those in bold text are global associations. We also mention our membership or participation in industry groups, associations, and partnerships in other sections of our 2012 sustainability report.

Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Advanced Bio Fuels Association
Agriculture-Environmental Coalition
Ammonia Safety and Training Institute
American Association of Analytical Chemists
American Association of Occupational Health Nurses
American Commodity Distribution Association
American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
American Feed Industry Association
American Industrial Hygiene Association
American Leather Chemists Association
American Logistic Association
American Meat Institute
American Meat Science Association
Ammonia Safety and Training Institute
American Society for Quality
American Society for Testing and Materials
American Society of Safety Engineers
Animal Protein Producers Industry
Animal Science Association
Aquaculture Suppliers Association
Arkansas Association of Food Protection
Association of Latino Professionals in Finance and Accounting
Beaver Watershed Alliance
British Retail Consortium
Beef Information Food Safety Council
Case Management Society of America
Center for Business Ethics
Center for Food Integrity
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Foundation
Consumer Federation of America
Council for Agricultural Science and Technology
Equal Employment Advisory Council
Ethics and Compliance Officers Association
The Fertilizer Institute
Food Safety Consortium
Food Research and Action Center
Future Farmers of America
Global Food Safety Initiative
Immigration Works
Industry Liaison Group
Institute of Food Technologists
Institute of Internal Auditors
International Association for Food Protection
International HACCP Alliance
International Institute of Ammonia Refrigeration
Kansas Livestock Association
League of United Latin American Citizens
Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund
National Association of Meat Purveyors
National Aquaculture Association
National Business Group on Health
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association
National Chicken Council
National Fire Protection Association
National Pork Board
National Pork Producers Council
National Renderers Association
National Safety Council
National Turkey Federation
Nature Conservancy
Ozark Food Processor Association
Ozarks Water Watch
Poultry Science Association
Research Chef’s Association
Risk Insurance Management Society
School Nutrition Association
Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
Society for Human Resource Management
Society for Sensory Professionals
State Agricultural and Rural Leaders
The Sustainability Consortium
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. China Business Council
U.S. Hides and Leather Association
U.S. Meat Export Federation
U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Poultry and Egg Association
U.S. Poultry and Egg Export Council
Whole Grain Council
World Aquaculture Association

Report Sections