Our Corporate Office of Animal Well-Being, led by Dr. Karen Christensen, Senior Director, Animal Well-Being, oversees the implementation of FarmCheck® program. Since the onset of the program in 2013, a total of 2,345 third-party audits have been conducted across our beef, pork, chicken and turkey supply chains. We are currently making updates to FarmCheck® program to create a more robust tool, and with this sustainability report, we are sharing more detailed information about the results of our audits. Additionally, beginning with our FY2018 sustainability report, we will share progress against key welfare indicators such as number dead on arrival, broken wings and paw scores for broiler chickens; and falls, prod scores, and wait time to unload for cattle and hogs.
2017 FarmCheck® Program Audit Results
The scope of our FarmCheck® program is based on a statistical analysis of each protein in the supply chain. This analysis allows us to determine the number of supplier sites that we should audit each year so that, over a three-year period, we can be 99 percent confident that 95 percent or more of our supply chain complies with the standards of the program. Based on this analysis, the target number for all supply chains in FY2017 was 461 sites.
All observations on farms that do not meet the criteria established in an audit tool are noted as a deficiency. If the deficiency can be corrected on-site prior to the completion of the audit, it is done. If not, then a corrective action plan is created with input from the farmer and our animal well-being, live operations and procurement teams. Corrective action plans outline appropriate actions and timelines to ensure every site is provided the opportunity to continuously improve upon their animal well-being efforts on the farm.
In 2017, there was one audit report and one public report of incidents where farmers or team members did not meet our expectation for the proper care and humane handling of animals. We do not tolerate mistreatment of animals and immediately take correction actions for violations of our expectations for the proper care and humane handling of animals, which may include termination of employment or contract.
As a result of the 2017 FarmCheck® program audits, we identified three areas for improvement across all Tyson Foods supply chains in the areas of records and documentation, such as training, maintenance logs and written standard operating procedures; internal checks, audits and assessments; and facility repair.
To learn more about audit results specific to our beef, chicken, pork and turkey facilities, visit our FarmCheck® Program Audits website.
Remote Video Auditing
At the completion of FY2017, we had implemented the U.S. meat industry’s most expansive third-party remote video auditing (RVA) system to assist in monitoring live bird handling in our poultry plants. Arrowsight provides the auditing technology and data analytics service, including trained off-site auditors who conduct random audits, analyze the video feed and provide results of their audits on a daily basis.
Additionally, the majority of our pork and beef processing plants conduct internal video audits, and Arrowsight is currently piloting RVA in one of our beef processing plants and began RVA monitoring in our turkey plant in September 2017. We believe this advanced technology is a powerful tool that has increased our ability to oversee animal human contact within our operations and drive improvements in our animal welfare practices.