Tyson Foods heads up global coalition for sustainable protein production

by Kim Souza ([email protected]) 1,106 views 

Tyson Foods announced Tuesday (Jan. 21) the creation of a Coalition for Global Protein, a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance the future of sustainable protein. Company officials made the announcement at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The Springdale-based meat giant said the goal is to convene leaders from the global protein industry. The united stakeholders across the food and agriculture sector will identify and implement new and creative solutions to sustainably feed the world’s growing population.

“As one of the world’s largest food companies, we want to help ensure the responsible production of affordable, nutritious food for generations to come,” said Tyson Foods CEO Noel White. “We’re introducing this coalition because we know that we cannot achieve this alone. Collective commitment and immediate action are needed to deliver the greatest impact on the future of sustainable food production.”

Dr. Lawrence Haddad, executive director of Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, is leading the discussion for the coalition.

Haddad said the need for sustainable food practices has never been greater. He said high-protein production food manufacturing must become more sustainable because that food source is vital for the healthy growth of young children, especially those who already have poor diets.

“It is vital that production can be undertaken in a way that respects planetary environmental boundaries,” Haddad said. “This coalition promises to be a valuable addition to our collective efforts to square this circle.”

Sustainability throughout the food ecosystem is fundamental to Tyson Foods’ core values, which call on the company to “strive to serve as stewards of the resources entrusted to us.”

The company has previously committed to improving land stewardship practices on two million acres of corn, a major feed ingredient used in Tyson Foods’ chicken business. Tyson Foods has also partnered with the World Resources Institute to set science-based greenhouse reduction targets and to reduce water use by 12% by this year. The company is also working with Proforest to identify deforestation risks across the company’s global supply chain.

“We’re focused on uniting the world’s most influential, food-focused stakeholders around a shared purpose to build a future of protein that is sustainable and equitable across global communities – at every link in the supply chain,” said John R. Tyson, chief sustainability officer of Tyson Foods. “Igniting transformative change in our food system requires industry-wide collaboration and a willingness to go beyond our individual businesses through strong commitments and actions.”

Tyson Foods said it expects the coalition to increase understanding around the challenges of feeding a growing population with more varied and sustainable protein options. Potential focus areas include reducing food loss and waste, increasing access to protein and safeguarding ecosystems.

Tyson Foods said the initial work of the coalition will be for the stakeholders to align on the focus areas. The coalition will publicly report later this year on the commitments and progress it makes.