In this file:


·         Income and revenue likely lower for Tyson Foods in third quarter report

Tyson Foods is expected to report leaner third-quarter net income and revenue amid challenging poultry fundamentals, ongoing pressures from COVID-19 and its impact on meatpacking plants and weak demand from restaurants…


·         Consumer groups challenge “deceptive” Tyson ads that brag about worker safety

“Safer than ever”: When it comes to claims about consumer health or animal welfare, false ad complaints are pretty common. Worker safety may be the new frontier.


·         Over 10,000 Tyson Employees Reportedly Test Positive For Covid

·         Tyson Foods Accused Of False Advertising In New Federal Trade Commission Complaint 

·         Tyson announces completion of Union City expansion



Income and revenue likely lower for Tyson Foods in third quarter report


by Kim Souza, Talk Business & Politics (AR)

Jul 30, 2020


Tyson Foods is expected to report leaner third-quarter net income and revenue amid challenging poultry fundamentals, ongoing pressures from COVID-19 and its impact on meatpacking plants and weak demand from restaurants.


The Springdale-based meat giant’s third-quarter results will be reported ahead of the market opening on Monday (Aug. 3). Wall Street analysts expect Tyson Foods to report net earnings of 78 cents per share, down 88% from the $1.47 per share earned a year ago. Net income should total about $242.8 million, according to the consensus.


Ben Bienvenu, an analyst with Stephens Inc., recently raised adjusted earnings per share to  $1.45 and reiterated a neutral overall rating with a price target of $60. Stephens had previously estimated earnings of 67 cents per share but raised the prediction based on strong beef margins during the quarter.


Stephens said the biggest challenge in analyzing earnings this period is determining how much of the record commodity margin will be offset by poor fixed-cost absorption at the plants. Bienvenu said the loss of foodservice demand – primarily restaurants – resulted in low chicken pricing and although margins began to improve in the quarter, they still remain well below the year-ago levels.


“We have lowered our pork estimate in light of incremental costs associated with COVID-19, and weak fixed cost absorption on significant volume declines, which we estimate to be 20% during the period. While pork margins showed strength during the quarter, the pork industry was the most impacted by COVID-19 related disruptions among the U.S. protein industry as many facilities were forced to operate below optimal capacity levels. Supplies remain burdensome in the near and intermediate-term and likely support segment margins for the balance of the year; however, the latest hogs and pigs reports indicated that live hog supplies may trend lower in 2021,” Bienvenu noted in a recent investor report.


The smaller pork segment is expected to report gross profits of $24.3 million, down from $42 million in the same period last year. Tyson’s beef segment is the shining star for the quarter. Stephens said it raised the third quarter beef estimate to reflect very strong margins.


“As foodservice demand fell the demand for cattle from slaughterhouses fell, which caused the price of cattle to drop significantly; however, at the same time the demand for beef at retail rose in light of strong food-at-home consumption trends,” Bienvenu stated.


He said while the beef industry faced disruptions related to the pandemic, the extent of the disruptions were not as significant as the pork industry, and “we estimate Tyson only saw volume declines of 5% during the period.”Bienvenu noted there are ample supplies of cattle in the near to intermediate-term as the pandemic has led to congested feedlots due to a back up in slaughter...





Consumer groups challenge “deceptive” Tyson ads that brag about worker safety

“Safer than ever”: When it comes to claims about consumer health or animal welfare, false ad complaints are pretty common. Worker safety may be the new frontier.


by Sam Bloch, The Counter



A worker coalition in Arkansas and a Washington, D.C.-based environmental nonprofit have asked the government to stop Tyson Foods, one of America’s biggest meat companies, from advertising to the public that its workers are “safer than ever.” In a complaint filed today with the Federal Trade Commission, the agency that regulates advertising and marketing on airwaves and online, the two groups, Venceremos and Food and Water Watch, allege that the meat giant makes workplace safety claims that are “egregiously misleading” consumers.


The Springdale, Arkansas-based company says that it ensures “safe and healthy” workplaces, but the complainants say that’s not true. Tyson has reported more severe injuries than all but two other companies since 2015, and had more Covid-19 cases than any other meatpacker during the pandemic. Nor could the company be “committed to improving the health and safety” of its workers, as it claims, because it hasn’t implemented social distancing at workstations or slowed down line speeds, two actions that federal agencies have recommended to stop the spread of the coronavirus.


“Tyson’s actual practices are inconsistent with how consumers perceive its claims that the company provides a ‘safe’ workplace and sources from ‘independent’ family farms,” the complaint reads. The groups have asked FTC to require Tyson to remove those claims from its website, enjoin them from making those statements in the future, and issue corrections to the media.


Meat processing facilities have long been known for dangerous, unsafe practices. The nation’s estimated 526,000 meat processing workers suffer grisly amputations, fractures and burns more often than workers in other industries, and develop long-term conditions and chronic pain.


But before the coronavirus pandemic, conscious consumers were more likely to cite animal welfare and the industry’s climate impact as reasons to opt out of meat, says Anna Griggs, a corporate strategy consultant for Fortune 100 brands. Front-page news about slaughterhouse workers falling ill and dying from the virus thrust the job conditions back into the spotlight.


“It’s been widely reported that some of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the U.S. and internationally have been in meatpacking plants,” Griggs said. “That is causing some consumers to say, is it ethical to be consuming meat right now?”


Market research shows that consumers are increasingly worried about how workers are treated. In a recent Morning Consult survey, 67 percent of respondents said it was “very important” that companies take care of employees and treat them well. “In times like this,” 64 percent of them said they were more likely to buy from a company that provided clean and safe environments.


Brands are responding with disastertisements that are at pains to show how safe their workers are. Walmart, Burger King, and Amazon have all commissioned ads to show that essential workers are being protected, not sacrificed, on the job. In a folksy TV spot, Tyson directs viewers to a landing page for videos of workers explaining what the company has done to protect them from the virus.


“I feel safer here than I do going to the stores,” one employee says, over an uplifting, optimistic piano melody. The camera pans to clips of workers, decked out in safety equipment, calmly inspecting carcasses and meat cuts on an assembly line broken up with plastic barriers. “I believe it’s important that Tyson stays open during this time,” another adds, over images of safety bulletins and printed reminders to socially distance...


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Over 10,000 Tyson Employees Reportedly Test Positive For Covid


Alexandra Sternlicht, Forbes

Jul 30, 2020




Over 10,000 Tyson Foods meat processing employees have contracted Covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to a study by the Food & Environment Reporting Network, which was released today as the company announced it would implement weekly Covid-19 testing at a number of plants.




·         At least 49,369 U.S. meatpacking, food processing and farmworkers have contracted Covid-19 since March, 10,104 of whom were meatpackers at Tyson foods, according to a July 30 report by the FERN.


·         Also July 30, Tyson Foods announced they would hire a chief medical officer, 200 nurses and implement weekly Covid-19 testing for employees at 140 meat production factories.


·         Second quarter revenue dropped 15% for the meat giant whose brands include Jimmy Dean, Hillshire Farm and Sara Lee.


·         “While the protective measures we’ve implemented in our facilities are working well, we remain vigilant about keeping our team members safe and are always evaluating ways to do more,” Donnie King, Tyson Foods group president and chief administrative officer said in the announcement.


·         Other meatpacking companies JBS and Smithfield Foods have 2,000-plus workers who have tested positive for Covid-19.


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Tyson Foods Accused Of False Advertising In New Federal Trade Commission Complaint


Jenny Splitter, Senior Contributor, Forbes

Jul 31, 2020


Two food advocacy groups have accused Tyson Foods of false advertising in a new complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission. The complaint was filed Thursday on behalf of the organizations by the Richman Law Group.


Groups allege Tyson has made false advertising claims


Food and Water Watch, a food advocacy group, and Venceremos, a poultry workers’ rights organization, together accuse Tyson Foods of making two false claims to consumers. First, that the company works with “independent” family farmers and, second, that it provides plant workers with a “safe work environment.”


Though much of the evidence contained in the FTC complaint predates the pandemic, the groups argue that worker deaths and illness tied to Coronavirus outbreaks at Tyson processing plants make it abundantly clear that the company’s claim that it provides a “safe work environment” is false.


“Independent” farmers may not be independent


Like many other poultry companies, Tyson Foods contracts with farmers to raise their chickens until they are ready to be shipped to plants for processing. While the contract farmers are not employees of Tyson Foods, Food and Water Watch and Venceremos argue that the characterization of these farmers as “independent” is false and misleading to consumers.


According to a 2018 report cited in the complaint, the Small Business Administration’s inspector general determined that many of these poultry farmers were not truly independent, as they were unable to effectively negotiate contract terms with these large and powerful poultry corporations, including Tyson Foods. In effect, it isn’t a level playing field. 


Typically in these arrangements, Tyson supplies the chickens and feed to their contract farmers, who in turn are responsible for the housing, labor and utilities. But the complaint alleges that Tyson’s contract farmers had to grow the birds according to the very specific requirements set forth Tyson, with no room for true negotiation.


For example, farmers are required to make expensive upgrades to their chicken barns without any added compensation to offset the additional costs. To make matters worse, these farmers feel they have nowhere to go once they’re locked into the contract.


According to the complaint, “the average sized family farm is now spending over an additional $13,000 for utilities since upgrading their poultry houses to Tyson’s specifications,” without extra compensation from the company.


To be clear, these contractual arrangements are not unique to Tyson. Poultry farmers who work with companies like Pilgrim’s Pride PPC +1.7% have also complained that these contract relationships are unfair and economically damaging. At the same time, there are also farmers who report satisfaction with their longstanding arrangements with poultry companies, including Tyson.


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Tyson announces completion of Union City expansion


WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News (TN)

July 30, 2020


UNION CITY, Tenn. — Tyson Foods has completed an expansion of their existing Union City operation, according to a news release from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development.


The company invested another $87.6 million in the expansion, and expects an addition 230 jobs will be created by the end of the year as a result of the expansion, according to the release.


Tyson added 40,000 square-feet to their existing operation, and added new production lines to the facility, the release says.


The expansion started earlier this year, but was delayed due to COVID-19.


This is the second expansion at the Union City facility since 2017, when the company announced an $80 million investment in the facility...