In this file:


·         Tyson Foods to increase virus testing in US meat plants

·         Tyson greatly expands COVID-19 testing

·         Tyson Foods enters UK & European market with foodservice focus

·         Tyson Foods partners with DonorsChoose to support teachers with $1.8 million investment



Tyson Foods to increase virus testing in US meat plants


The Associated Press

via KSTP-TV (MN) - July 30, 2020


Tyson Foods says it plans to administer thousands of coronavirus tests per week at its U.S. facilities under an expanded effort to protect workers and keep plants running.


The Springdale, Arkansas-based company, which processes about 20% of all beef, pork and chicken in the U.S., will randomly test employees who have no symptoms, as well as those with symptoms. Workers will also be tested if they were near someone who tested positive or displayed symptoms.


The tests are on top of daily health screenings when workers arrive at Tyson's 140 U.S. production facilities, the company said Thursday.


Tyson said it will add nearly 200 nurses to its 400-person medical team to conduct the tests. It's also hiring a chief medical officer. Tyson developed the testing plan with Matrix Medical, a healthcare provider.


The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 24,000 of Tyson's 120,000 U.S. workers, applauded the move and said other meat processing companies should follow Tyson's lead.


Meatpacking plants have been particularly susceptible to the coronavirus because workers often stand shoulder to shoulder carving up meat.


In the U.S. alone, at least 16,210 meatpacking workers have been infected or exposed to the virus and 93 have died, the United Food and Commercial Workers said. Last month, the families of three Tyson workers in Iowa who died from COVID-19 sued the company, saying it knowingly put employees at risk in the early days of the pandemic.


Tyson has introduced many measures to curb the virus since then. In April, it purchased 150 thermal temperature scanners to check workers when they arrive. It distributed masks and face shields and put up dividers between workers. It has tested around one-third of its workers. The company believes less than 1% of its workers currently have active cases of COVID-19.


Scott Brooks, a senior vice president who is leading Tyson's coronavirus response, noted that testing all the workers in a plant once only gives a snapshot of that particular moment. Constant, random testing will give the company a clearer picture of what's going on. The company will adjust the number of tests each week based on community virus levels and other factors.


"It feels good that we're really going to be able to get ahead of this issue," he said.


Tyson wouldn't say exactly how much the effort will cost, although the company has already said it's spending hundreds of millions of dollars fighting the virus. The swab tests it's using normally sell for between $100 and $150. Brooks said the results will be available in two to three days.


The expanded testing is confined to the U.S. for now. Tyson also has plants in Thailand, China, the Netherlands, Australia and elsewhere.


Tyson's announcement may help ease consumers' concerns about meat, even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and other public health officials say there's no evidence COVID-19 can be transmitted through food...





Tyson greatly expands COVID-19 testing


Dave Dreeszen, The Courier (IA)

Jul 30, 2020


SIOUX CITY — Tyson Foods will launch weekly coronavirus testing of workers after outbreaks sickened thousands of employees and idled production at several meat plants this spring.


The company also will hire nearly 200 nurses and administrative support personnel to bolster Tyson’s 400-person health services team.


The nurses will conduct the on-site tests and assist with case management, coordinating treatment for employees who contract the disease.


Tyson also will create a chief medical officer position at the corporate level.


Four company representatives shared details of the new monitoring initiative during a Zoom meeting Wednesday.


“This is a very proactive way for us to do our best to stay ahead of this virus, rather than what we’ve experienced in the recent past,” Hector Gonzalez, Tyson’s senior vice president for human resources, said.


Early in the pandemic, meatpackers nationwide struggled to contain the virus in plants where workers toil side by side on production lines and often share crowded locker rooms, cafeterias and rides to work.


Tyson has tested around 40,000 workers, or nearly one-third of its workforce. Of its 122,000 employees, less than 1 percent, or about 1,200, are active COVID-19 cases, according to the company...





Tyson Foods enters UK & European market with foodservice focus

The $40bn US meat giant said it is also eyeing up opportunities in the retail sphere


By Henry Sandercock, The Grocer (UK)

29 July 2020


US meat giant Tyson Foods has brought its flagship Tyson brand to the UK for the first time as it pursues what it calls “aggressive aspirations” for the European meat market.


The company, which had a turnover of $42.4bn in 2019, has made the move following its acquisition of major Brazilian meat firm BRF’s European and Thai business last year.


It has used the infrastructure it inherited as part of that deal – including two meat plants in its “core markets” of the UK and the Netherlands – as a launchpad into both the UK and continental market. Tyson said it would source meat locally from Europe and from its global supply chain, including Brazil and Thailand.


Its initial offering of 28 foodservice-focused frozen chicken products began to hit the market in early May. But they could move into the retail sphere “over the next year” according to Tyson Foods Europe president, Brett van de Bovenkamp.


“The products are developed to be retail friendly. Their size is a bit big but we [initially] expect to have presence in the independent retail class as many of our foodservice customers service that channel,” he told The Grocer.


“Retail is not a heavy share for our business right now so we’re not rushing into it – although we have obviously connected with all of [the retailers]. As things settle down into a new normal, we will revisit it and ensure the portfolio is positioned more appropriately for retail.”


He added that a small retail trial was about to take place “on the continent”.


The products, which include raw chicken breast fillets as well as added-value products such as chicken skewers, will be mid-market to premium offerings. While Tyson does not operate a vertically-integrated model in Europe, it promised to meet its customers’ animal welfare and environmental demands.


Van de Bovenkamp said the decision to enter the market under the Tyson masterbrand came about because of the Tyson name’s “equity” in the global meat industry...





Tyson Foods partners with DonorsChoose to support teachers with $1.8 million investment


Megan Wilson, WSPA (SC)

Jul 29, 2020


SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As part of Tyson Foods’ commitment to supporting its plant communities, the company announced it will fund $1.8 million in DonorsChoose projects for 65 school districts in 60 Tyson communities in 28 states.


The investment will bring much-needed resources to schools in Tyson communities and introduce teachers to the platform.


Public school teachers in these communities will be able to use DonorsChoose to request learning resources, including materials that support distance learning, as educators prepare for blended or hybrid-model lessons for the upcoming school year.


Between August 3 and January 29, 2021, Tyson will fully fund projects posted by teachers, in qualifying Tyson school districts, who request up to $1,000 in learning resources.


Funding will be applied toward projects on the first Monday of each month, up to $30,000 for each plant community.


Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis, and can be requested for a variety of resources teachers feel they or their students may need this upcoming school year...