The Contract Poultry Farmers’ Bill of Rights, developed by Tyson Foods, will be run by an advisory council to enhance communications within the company.
The Bill of Rights allows farmers access to:
• The right to information detailing how much they are paid.
• The right to discuss their contract with outside parties.
• The right to a fixed-length contract that can only be terminated for cause.
• The right to join an association of contract poultry farmers.
• The right to poultry welfare standards and training on poultry welfare standards.
“Farmers are the backbone of agriculture and the farmers we contract with are critical to our business,” said Tysons Foods’ group president for poultry Doug Ramsey. “We want them to know how much we appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to feed the world.”
The company pays more than US$800 million annually to more than 3,600 independent poultry farmers who are contracted to raise chickens for its operations. The average farmer has been raising chickens for 15 years for the firm and some families have been raising chickens for the company for three generations.
“The council will give growers the ability to communicate directly with the top management of Tyson. They are listening and very interested in our ideas as well as issues affecting growers,” said Johnny Simmons, one of the advisory council member-farmers who has grown chickens for 30 years.
“The Bill of Rights that Tyson Foods has put together explains our relationship with the company and shows its commitment to our relationship.”
Tyson Foods has also developed a smartphone application for farmers to download. The development of the application is under way and will be released in due course.
Last year, an investigation into allegations of chicken price fixing by Tyson Foods was dropped by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).