Tyson Foods announced Tuesday (Oct. 29) a partnership with Proforest, an independent organization focused on sustainability in the forest and agricultural sectors, to help the company conduct a deforestation risk assessment across its global agriculture supply chain.
According to a news release, the assessment will be conducted to help identify if there is a risk in the company’s sourcing origins, focusing on commodities such as cattle, palm oil, soy, timber, pulp and paper.
Tyson Foods said findings will inform the development of a company forest protection policy in 2020. The assessment is also expected to inform, if necessary, the implementation of actions to mitigate or eliminate any identified deforestation risks.
“We’re committed to sustainably feeding the world. As part of that, we must operate with a high degree of certainty about sourcing in our supply chains across the globe,” said John R. Tyson, chief sustainability officer for Tyson Foods. “We look forward to working with Proforest to better understand potential risks and do our part on this complicated issue.”
In 2017, Tyson Foods partnered with an environmentally focused non-government organization to conduct a sustainable sourcing risk assessment, which classified the company’s deforestation risk as minimal to low. Since then, the company has expanded its international presence from two countries to nine, with the acquisition of Keystone Foods and additional poultry businesses in Thailand and Europe. Given the company’s expanded footprint, the supply chain will be reassessed to identify and classify potential risks.
In addition to the partnership with Proforest, Tyson Foods recently became a member of the Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), an organization that promotes responsible production, processing and trading of soy on a global level. The company is also a member of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), a group that works with stakeholders from across the palm oil industry to develop global standards to define and certify sustainable palm oil.
Tyson Foods’ efforts to reduce its carbon footprint as a global meat processor will also help the company’s sustainability score with its biggest customer, Walmart.