Tyson will assess its deforestation risks


Cathy Siegner, FoodDive 

Nov. 4, 2019


Dive Brief:


·         Tyson Foods is partnering with Proforest, a U.K.-based sustainability nonprofit, to identify any deforestation risks in its global agriculture supply chain. The nation's largest meat processor said in a release the assessment will look at sourcing for cattle, palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and paper.

·         Tyson said the assessment findings will contribute to a company forest protection policy next year and, if necessary, lead to actions to mitigate or eliminate any identified deforestation risks.

·         The company did a sustainable sourcing risk assessment in 2017 that found its deforestation risk was minimal to low. However, Tyson's global footprint has expanded from two to nine countries since then.


Dive Insight:


Since Tyson is now doing business in nine countries — after it acquired Brazil's Keystone Foods last year and BRF SA's poultry businesses in Thailand and Europe this year — it makes sense for the company to reevaluate its exposure to risk from deforestation.


Proforest is an independent nonprofit focused on responsible sourcing of agricultural commodities and forest products. Since it works around the world, it may be a helpful partner to guide Tyson through the process. The group plans to work with Global Canopy, an international environmental non-government organization, and use a publicly available supply chain mapping platform called Trase, which was developed by Global Canopy and the Stockholm Environment Institute.


Companies wanting to enhance their transparency practices and sustainability credentials are wise to partner with a third-party organization to assess their operations. The credibility of the final product is likely to be higher, and such groups often have practical experience working with resources in a variety of countries and across sectors. Tyson didn't say whether its deforestation risk assessment will be publicly released, but will use the findings to develop its forest protection policy.


These assessments can have tangible results...


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