Activists Stage Protest at Tyson Shareholder Meeting over Sustainability Concerns

Northwest Arkansas citizens rally for Tyson to “Keep Your Promise” and abide by 2018 sustainability commitments

Springdale, AR — ​On Thursday morning, over 30 community members and environmentalists rallied outside Tyson’s annual shareholder meeting, voicing concerns that the company has not shown any progress on its promise to reform farming practices that are causing widespread water pollution and climate change. Chanting “what do we want, a livable earth; when do we want it, now,” protestors highlighted the urgency of the planetary crisis underway and called for sweeping changes.

Two years ago, Tyson announced that it would adopt sustainable farming practices on 2 million acres used for animal feed by 2020. This commitment followed months of protests across the country from farmers, shareholders, community leaders, employees, and environmentalists calling on Tyson to take responsibility for cleaning up water pollution caused by its supply chain. With the deadline approaching and no public reports of progress, Mighty Earth volunteers rallied outside the Tyson shareholder meeting, telling executives to “Keep your promise” and implement farming practices that protect soil health, prevent water pollution, and mitigate climate change.

“It is time to look deeply into the personhood of your corporation, to your ethical and moral obligations to the world around you,” ​Reverend Jim Parrish ​said at the rally. “Tyson: there is no more time. The world is on fire, and your actions either fuel our collective death, or begin the healing.”

Meat production is the single largest source of water pollution in the U.S., with runoff from fields that produce animal feeds being the primary source. Mighty Earth is calling on Tyson to only source animal feed from farms that protect soil health, minimize fertilizer usage, mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, and prevent excess runoff from dirtying the waterways, and also to significantly ramp up investments in planet-based proteins.

“It is clear we are in a planetary emergency and need rapid leadership from business to drive solutions. Tyson made a promise last year to fix polluting farming practices that are contaminating our waters and fueling climate change, and we are watching to make sure they deliver,” ​Mighty Earth campaign director Lucia von Reusner​ said.

One month ago, Mighty Earth and launched a ​petition​ calling on Tyson to change — and more than 60,000 people have already signed on. Activists delivered these signatures to Tyson leadership at the shareholder meeting.