Investors Urge Tyson to Pivot to Compete with Plant-Based Meat

Factory farmed meat giant Tyson urged to restructure toward more sustainable practices given the threat presented by meat-free industry.


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The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)—a group of 300 shareholder advocates—recently released five regulations that will appear on Tyson’s company ballot in 2017. In addition to asking Tyson to act on reducing its water impacts, diversifying its board members to include women and minorities, and disclosing their lobbying policies, ICCR asked that Tyson address issues regarding both animal welfare and their plan to compete with the growing plant-based meat industry. “Study after study finds animal cruelty right at the top of consumers’ concerns about food production,” Humane Society of the United States representative Matthew Prescott said. “As Tyson’s competitors and largest customers make moves to proactively address the biggest animal welfare concerns, Tyson appears to have fallen behind—putting investors at risk.” Marissa LaFave of Green Century Capital Management spoke on the issue of Tyson’s need to compete with plant-based meat: “the demand for plant-based proteins is skyrocketing and needs to be considered and accounted for in business planning,” LaFave said. “Failure to see around corners and adjust to changing demands places the company at a great disadvantage relative to its competitors in the food industry who are already innovating in this area.” Shareholders will vote on proposed ballot regulations in early 2017.

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