We provide poultry producers with written contracts detailing how payments are calculated. Poultry farmers are essentially paid for the way they care for chickens and for the weight they gain while on the farm. We use a performance incentive system that rewards poultry producers who effectively transform the food we offer into weight gain in the birds that raise them. The payment formula includes factors such as the number of birds, the amount of feed used, the performance of their herd relative to those perceived by other contract farmers, and the weight of the birds delivered to the processing plant. I was recently fortunate enough to be appointed to lead the poultry industry for Tyson Foods. Learning how to trade chickens is humiliating and exciting because my background is at Fresh Meats, which also includes pork and beef. All farmers who grow chickens for Tyson Foods have rights that are part of their contract. The rights are set out in contract POULTRY FARMERS` BILL OF RIGHTS. Peasant Jacque and her husband grew up in agriculture. They know the value of hard work and wanted to pass it on to their children. It relies heavily on animal welfare. She knows when she goes to the store and she sees the red Tyson label that the other farmers have worked as hard as her family. She wants to make sure she supports Tyson Foods as Tyson Foods has supported her.
She says the name Tyson is synonymous with quality, it represents hard work, it represents the welfare of animals and all those who unite for a healthy and happy animal. The income from raising hens varies and depends on a number of factors. For some farmers, it is a single source of income. For many, this is an additional income to another job or the breeding of crops or other livestock. In fact, a 2014 U.S. DEPARTMENT STUDY found, that the average income of contract poultry farmers exceeds other farm households. The practice of raising chickens under a contract for poultry processors has been in place since the 1930s and is the industry standard. Tyson Foods has been working with poultry farmers since the late 1940s, and it is a relationship that we believe is effective for the farmer and for the company. We provide birds and food, and provide technical advice while the poultry farmer provides work, accommodation and services. This collaboration between Tyson Foods and family businesses improves efficiency and quality, while maintaining affordable prices for consumers.
Each company is a different animal – no pun intended – with its own unique qualities. But in my onboarding, a common and critical factor has been reinforced for me: each of them needs independent farmers. As part of our journey to live our goal continuously, we are launching several initiatives to improve communication and transparency with the thousands of independent farmers who grow chickens for our company. The average farmer has been raising chickens for Tyson Foods for 15 years. Some farming families have been raising chickens for us for three generations. We work closely with our farmers, including regular visits from our service technicians and animal welfare specialists, to provide technical advice, answer questions and ensure best animal management practices.