Sustaining Our World – 2017 Sustainability Report

Increase Sustainable
Land Stewardship Practices

Company commitment to more sustainable production on 2 million acres of corn.

While we don’t own grain farms, we do buy corn and soybeans to feed our poultry, as do the independent farmers and ranchers who sell us cattle and pigs. Since grain production is part of our supply chain and contributes to our overall carbon footprint, we’re taking a major step to lessen its environmental impact.

Tyson Foods has committed to support improved environmental practices on 2 million acres of corn production by the end of 2020. This is the largest-ever land stewardship commitment by a U.S. protein company and is expected to lower the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our supply chain.

As farmers implement increasingly efficient land and nutrient management practices, the effects can be felt throughout the supply chain. Specifically, through optimized nutrient management, there will be less demand for fertilizer resulting in less energy used to produce the fertilizer; but more importantly, there will be less fertilizer applied per acre, resulting in reduced total nitrous oxide emissions.

To reach this target, we expect to work with at least one third-party organization on a program to encourage corn farmers to adopt enhanced on-farm conservation through more efficient fertilizer use and additional measures to reduce soil loss. We also plan to collaborate with various environmental groups, such as The Nature Conservancy, as well as academic experts.

The 2 million-acre target represents enough corn to feed all of Tyson Foods’ annual broiler chicken production in the U.S., as well as some of the pigs and cattle the company buys from independent farmers and ranchers.

Although we own the chickens in our poultry business, the high-nutrient-value poultry litter (manure) is owned and managed by contract poultry farmers. We encourage the farmers to use sustainable nutrient management practices and we tell them about the potential agricultural benefits of responsible manure management. Our Supplier Code of Conduct requires them to maintain a dedication to protection of the environment and a commitment to sustainable business practices.

Through various nonprofit partnerships, we’ve helped to move approximately 1 million tons of nutrient litter out of the Illinois River Watershed — which covers parts of eastern Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas — over the last decade. The litter is redistributed to areas where the soils are in need of additional nutrients.

We are currently exploring opportunities to collaborate with our industry peers and other key stakeholders on the issue of proper nutrient management. We believe it will take a broad coalition of players from academia, civil society, farmers, government regulators and business leaders to make progress on nutrient impacts.