2018 Sustainability Report

Ethics & Compliance

Running our day-to-day operations in alignment with the highest ethical practices and standards is the way we do business.

Operating with the Highest Level of Ethics

Our ethics are guided by our core values, Code of Conduct, Team Behaviors (also known as our 5Cs) and Team Member Promise, which outline team member rights, benefits and responsibilities. Policies and practices follow the human rights principles set forth in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization’s Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Team member rights are further strengthened through annual compliance training, the Social Compliance auditing program and the Ethics Help Line.

Social Compliance Program

Our Social Compliance program began in 2015 and allows us to be more proactive in our social compliance efforts. Our goal is to ensure our team members understand their rights, benefits and responsibilities while also providing our customers visibility into our workplace conditions, which include worker treatment, voice, compensation and safety so they have a reasonable assurance of our commitment to social responsibility.

Key elements of the program include:

  • Maintaining a Social Compliance Committee (SCC) to provide oversight.
  • Responding to all self-assessment questionnaires.
  • Maintaining memberships in Sedex, SAFESUPPLY and EcoVadis, which are external customer-supplier data exchanges dedicated to empowering responsible supply chains.
  • Using a reputable third-party firm to provide audit services.

audits in the plant

We require all of our team members and directors to participate in annual compliance training to ensure they understand that our policies prohibit any kind of illegal or unethical behavior and that they are obligated to report suspected violations promptly.

Third-Party Audits of Social Compliance Program

We utilize a third-party firm that is a member of Association for Professional Social Compliance Auditors (APSCA) to audit approximately 25 percent of our production facilities each year. The auditors use Workplace Conditions Assessment (WCA) criteria to verify adherence to the four pillars of social compliance standards in labor, health and safety, environment and business integrity. A representative WCA Report is provided here as an example. We believe our comprehensive audit program is efficient and effective for us and our customers.

FY2018 WCA Audit Findings

  • Health & Safety
  • Labor
  • Environment

In 2018, there were 31 production facilities audited with an average score of 96 percent. Achievement awards recognizing plants that scored 85 percent or higher are posted on our website. While we are proud of our overall performance against the WCA criteria, we do recognize there are opportunities for improvement. The audit findings depicted in the chart have all been remediated.

Health and safety findings are related to emergency egress and fire extinguisher location and number. The findings identified were fully remediated, and management systems were reviewed and improved to prevent similar future findings. Labor findings are related to overtime hours worked and consecutive work days. Through our remediation efforts, we found our team members voluntarily chose to work these overtime hours in excess of 60 hours per week and were paid for all hours worked in compliance with laws and regulations; however, management continues to work on the reduction of overtime and consecutive work days.

Annual Compliance

We require all of our team members and directors to participate in annual compliance training to ensure they understand that our policies prohibit any kind of illegal or unethical behavior and that they are obligated to report suspected violations promptly.

Ethics Help Line

At Tyson Foods, team members’ voices are meant to be heard. All team members are actively encouraged to speak with local management, human resources representatives, or to contact the ethics and compliance department or the human resources director regarding any ethics questions, complaints or concerns they may have.

We provide a toll-free number and web-based reporting mechanism (Ethics Help Line) for team members who are obligated to report suspected violations of our Code of Conduct or the law. The Ethics Help Line is operated by an independent third party and allows team members to raise issues anonymously and without fear of retaliation if they don’t feel comfortable reporting it to their local supervisor or human resources, or if they don’t feel that the issue is being properly addressed. The Ethics Help Line is managed by a team of corporate ethics and compliance professionals and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services are available in multiple languages by phone or the Internet.

During FY2018, our Ethics Help Line received 5,379 contacts. Of the total calls, 76.8 percent were unsubstantiated following investigation. The remaining 23.2 percent of calls were investigated and resolved. While the option to report anonymously is always available, 61.0 percent of those making reports in FY2018 chose to provide contact information. In comparison, data provided by a reputable benchmarking report shows that, on average, only 58.4 percent of those who contact a company hotline provide contact information. This volume, combined with callers’ willingness to provide contact information, shows that our team members know how to use the process and are not hesitant to do so. This result is consistent with our dedication to maintaining a workplace where we can all ask questions and raise concerns without fear of retaliation.

Ethics Help Line
Complaint Areas

  • Employee Matters*
  • Management Style
  • Harassment &
  • Other
  • *Examples of Employee Matters include concerns about attendance points, discipline, or fellow team members.