Contract Poultry Farmers’ Bill of Rights
Tyson Foods has been successfully working with poultry farmers on a contractual basis since the late 1940s. The company supplies the birds and feed, as well as technical advice, while the poultry farmer provides the labor, housing and utilities. This document outlines the rights of the farmers in their relationship with Tyson Foods.
- The right to a written copy of their contract.
- Tyson Foods provides farmers with a copy of the contract they have signed to raise poultry.
- The right to information detailing how much they are paid.
- Tyson Foods provides written contracts detailing how payments to the poultry farmer will be calculated.
- The right to discuss their contract with outside parties.
- Poultry farmers considering entering into a contract with Tyson Foods are encouraged to discuss it with others, including their financial or legal advisor.
- The right to a fixed length contract that can only be terminated for cause.
- The length of the company’s fixed contracts with poultry farmers are typically three to seven years; some are 10 to 15 years in length.
- The right for the poultry farmer to terminate the contract with Tyson Foods for any reason or no reason at all by giving a 90-day prior written notice for broilers and turkeys, and a 60-day written notice prior to scheduled removal of poultry from farmer’s housing for hens and pullets.
- The average contract chicken farmer has been raising birds for Tyson Foods for 15 years. Farmers have the right to end their contract with the company and can do so by providing prior notification as outlined in the contract.
- The right to join an association of contract poultry farmers.
- Poultry farmers are not prohibited by Tyson Foods from joining a poultry farmer organization or similar group supporting or representing farmers.
- The right to poultry welfare standards and training on poultry welfare standards.
- Tyson Foods provides animal well-being training to farmers to ensure they understand the company’s expectations.
- The company also employs animal well-being specialists to provide support to farmers.
- As part of the Tyson FarmCheck® program, third-party, on-farm animal well-being audits are conducted to ensure birds are being raised to Tyson Foods’ standards.
- The right to tell Tyson first.