Wednesday
Sep 25
2013
September 25, 2013

Making Great Food. Making a Difference.

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We employ 115,000 people at Tyson Foods—we call them team members—and we work hard every day to make great food. We feed our families, the nation, and the world trusted products and, as one of the world’s largest food companies, we also do what we can to make a difference. Over the past 13 years, we’ve been committed to hunger relief in the U.S. by donating more than 93 million pounds of protein to food banks and by creating hunger awareness through our KNOW Hunger campaign. A few years ago we also began work globally on a project in Rwanda to provide technical support for an egg operation, which now produces 32,000 eggs per week for pre-school children and local markets. Now we’re extending this global effort through a new knowledge sharing program with World Vision.

When I traveled to Tanzania last year, I realized that as CEO of Tyson Foods, we have the unique ability to share what we know about food production with smallholder farmers. I saw beautiful countryside and many smiling faces, but its people suffer from some of the highest levels of malnutrition in Africa and many parts of the country have chronic food deficits.

Chicken is one of the most commonly consumed meats in Tanzania and is a prominent source of protein in households. But, this country’s lack of resources, infrastructure, and technical know-how creates significant barriers for farmers trying to feed their families and create a sustainable market. We want to teach them what we know.

Working alongside our new partners at World Vision, we believe that we can truly make a difference with a program aimed at teaching these small farmers how to sustainably produce food, by lending employees who have professional expertise and experience in poultry production. They’ll travel to Tanzania at least four times per year and will teach World Vision agronomists and local Tanzanian farmers such basics as best breed selection, clean water, best feed choices, housing, and disease management. We’re calling our initiative the Tyson Foods Fellows program. We want to help people in Tanzania build a hunger-free world for themselves and resilient livelihoods, and want to help lift them out of the cycle of poverty.

As a new member of the Clinton Global Initiative, we’re proud to make this Commitment to Action—“Poultry Value Chain Improvement for Small-Holder Farmers." At the end of the project, we hope to directly benefit the lives of nearly 2,700 farmers and their families—over 10,000 people—by sharing our best practices in the Babati region of Tanzania. World Vision will also share these best practices with other households participating in their “Secure the Future” initiative in this region, ultimately affecting 24,000 people.

We hope to replicate the Tyson Foods Fellows program for other, future projects, because we want to share our unique knowledge about food production, sustainability, and agriculture around the world.

We’re a company of people who work hard to make a difference and we’re doing that wherever we can, whether it’s in our own backyard, or in a remote area of northern Tanzania.