Sustaining Our World – 2017 Sustainability Report

Understanding Our Local
Community Impacts

Building strong communities starts at home where our team members live, work and play.

We own and operate facilities in more than 100 communities across the U.S. Most of our host communities are in rural areas where in many cases, Tyson Foods is the largest employer. We are responsible for playing a role in giving back to our communities and ensuring our neighbors and team members have opportunities to grow, learn and thrive.

To better serve our communities, we needed to understand the diverse needs and makeup of our team members and host communities. In November 2017, we started planning and subsequently launched an independent Social Baseline Study (SBS) of our operations by researching a sample set of 21 Tyson Foods plant sites. The study’s goal is to examine the impacts and risks in the communities where we do business, and how we might be a better neighbor and employer of choice.

Sites were selected based on a site’s history with its community, team member issues, site and community size, type of product made on-site, geographic location and other criteria deemed relevant to the initial research. Our methodology comprises desktop research, along with four more in-depth investigations that include site visits, interviews and focus group discussions. At each site visit, we will engage a variety of stakeholders, including plant and HR managers, team members, community leaders, public service leaders, civic groups, religious leaders and representative community members.

Our initial research led us to focus on the following study areas:

  • Community conditions (demographics, character, governance, trends)
  • Public infrastructure and services (transportation, education, safety)
  • Livelihoods, labor and workforce statistics and trends
  • Economic trends
  • Public health status, trends and risks
  • Community culture, traditions, cohesion and “brand”
  • Cultural resources (sites or periods/events of religious, historic or cultural value)

Further discussions and analysis revealed additional concerns important to our team members and host communities that we plan to keep top of mind as we continue these assessments. These include child care, cultural acceptance and assimilation, government services, healthcare, housing, hunger and nutrition, language, labor and legal status, natural resource use and poverty.

As an example of the type of impacts and dynamics under study, we know that some team members may face challenges accessing and affording healthcare services. We are learning there are a variety of causes, including language barriers, a lack of understanding about the American healthcare system, and the cost of services. In FY2018, we will explore innovative approaches to address these concerns.