In this file:


·         Leaders Share Update On Tyson Fire Investigation At Cattle Convention

·         Tyson Foods appoints new Vice Chairman

·         Analysts cite potential coronavirus impact to Tyson Foods, Walmart

·         Tyson to Count its Chickens With Computer Vision



Leaders Share Update On Tyson Fire Investigation At Cattle Convention


by Betsy Jibben, AgWeb  

Feb 12, 2020


An update on a story we've been following for several months now. We've learned the investigation into the Tyson beef plant fire is ongoing, AgDay’s Clinton Griffiths reports.


Back in August the Tyson beef processing plant in Holcomb, Kansas, was forced to shut down after a large fire. The plant has a slaughter capacity of 6,000 head per day, accounting for 5% of all U.S. fed cattle packing capacity.


The fire and disruption to supplies sent cattle prices plummeting for a short time. Portions of the industry demanded an investigation and USDA said they were looking into it. Experts at this year's cattlemen's convention told AgDay that report is still pending. 


“I wish I could tell you time, we're working with other federal government people in order to help us complete that. And I don't really have a time date. We want it,” says Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue. “We want to have good facts and better, better investigation and forensics rather than a quick report and that I would have hoped had been done really by the end of the year. But we're doing a thorough deep dive that we're looking at, and we'll do it as soon as possible,” he continued...


more, including video [1:34 min.]



Tyson Foods appoints new Vice Chairman


International Leather Maker

13 February, 2020


The U.S. meatpacker announced its lead independent Director has been given the additional role of Vice Chairman of the Board.


Kevin McNamara, who has been a Tyson Foods board member since 2007, will take on additional duties and responsibilities to assist the Chairman with board matters, support the executive team on company matters, and focus on key strategic initiatives. “The board’s appointment of Kevin to Vice Chairman reflects its commitment to sound governance to sustain the future of our company”, said John Tyson, Chairman, Tyson Foods. “We look forward to his expanded participation in the company, especially as we collaborate with the board and executive management to implement our strategy for growth and leadership.”


McNamara is the founding principal of McNamara Family Ventures...





Analysts cite potential coronavirus impact to Tyson Foods, Walmart


by Kim Souza, Talk Business & Politics (AR)

Feb 12, 2020  


China is a long way from Northwest Arkansas but its impact to the region’s two largest companies is important. Tyson Foods and Walmart each have substantial operations in China and throughout Asia and those areas are most impacted by the latest coronavirus outbreak.


Reports from China indicate the food and retail sectors are among those most impacted in the early days of the outbreak. The foodservice sector in China was one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus that analysts say likely cost the economy billions during the country’s Lunar New Year celebrations last week. Analysts with Rabobank said the impact could range between $35 billion and $80 billion.


The food and agriculture sectors have been hit hard as many cities remain under lockdown, according to Rabobank analyst Ping Chew. Chew noted the impact could be more serious and longer-lasting if the virus isn’t contained within the first quarter. The losses from foodservice alone could total $8.8 billion to $13.6 billion.


Analysts said frozen foods, ready-to-eat meals and bottled water are also poised to benefit because of panic buying in impacted regions. If the virus is not under control until late spring, analysts said the impacts on animal proteins could persist.


Tyson Foods operates retail and foodservice divisions in China. The Springdale-based meat giant has not yet said if the virus will have a material impact on earnings for the second quarter which ends March 31, or beyond. The company did forecast seasonally weaker profits for the quarter but did not provide any color on the pending impact of the coronavirus.


“We’re closely monitoring news of coronavirus. We are actively assessing what this outbreak may mean for our global business and preparing for the possibility of any impact. In China, we have been working with the government and we have successfully re-started some of our operations,” Worth Sparkman, corporate spokesman for Tyson Foods, told Talk Business & Politics.


Bentonville-based Walmart also has substantial operations in China with more than 400 retail stores and clubs, distribution centers and supply chain operations. While the retail giant could benefit from the increased sales of water, frozen and ready-to-eat foods should the uptick in demand last, the company’s overall supply chain could be hit hard as the company imports substantial products from China and other Asian countries that source raw materials in China.


Ike Boruchow, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, recently lowered price estimates for retailers with meaningful exposure to China. He said the overall supply chain has not likely factored in the financial impact it will feel because of the slowing in China. About 40% of all shipments that entered the United States last month came from China, according to Freightwaves, and a recent report from the trade publication on the coronavirus showed 7% of vessel sailings from China to the West Coast were canceled as a result of the virus...





Tyson to Count its Chickens With Computer Vision

A system consisting of cameras, machine-learning algorithms and edge computing is expected to boost Tyson's chicken inventory management.


Mike Hockett,

Feb 12th, 2020


Poultry manufacturing giant Tyson Foods will reportedly computer vision to track quantities of chicken moving through its production plants as it aims to rely more on automation and artificial intelligence to boost efficiency.


The Wall Street Journal reported Feb. 10 that Tyson has installed computer vision systems — consisting of cameras, machine-learning algorithms and edge computing — at three of its plants, with plans to expand to all seven of its “fresh tray pack” chicken plants that produce packaged poultry for supermarkets. The WSJ notes that Tyson has about 50 total US chicken plants.


Traditionally, taking chicken inventory is done manually, with workers counting meat units wheeled in on carts and communicating that data to other workers who then entered it into a system. Prone to human error, that process can result in too much chicken being processed and consequently spoiling...