Tyson Foods is expanding its FarmCheck animal welfare program to include its beef and chicken suppliers, according to plans announced in 2012. The company says suppliers must meet the auditing requirements of the program in 2014 to qualify as a Tyson supplier.
FarmCheck was launched in the fall of 2012 as a way for the global meat processor to ensure animal welfare is carried out on the farms that raise the animals Tyson later slaughters and processes into meat and poultry.
Sara Lilygren, head of corporate affairs at Tyson Foods, championed the FarmCheck program as a way for the meat company to show visibility into their operations, which have been targeted throughout the past by animal activists.
FarmCheck uses third-party auditors to check on the farm for such things as animal access to food and water, as well as proper human-animal interaction and worker training.
Tyson said the company has conducted pilot audits of the hog farms that supply Tyson Foods and will expand those audits to chicken and cattle farms by January 2014.