It’s been our intent since COVID-19 began to ensure a spirit of transparency across Tyson Foods. First and foremost, we want our employees to know every step we are taking to keep them safe. Next, we want the public to have a clear understanding of these measures.
We take great pride in the comprehensive protective measures we’ve implemented – from symptom screenings and face masks, to workstation dividers and social distance monitors. We also encourage team members to carry these habits into the communities where we operate.
In recent weeks, we’ve opened the doors of our plants to local and state officials, school leaders and the media to give them a firsthand look at these efforts. In doing so, we’ve been able to share best practices that others can implement to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control have seen a number of our facilities in Arkansas, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Texas and Tennessee.
On one specific visit, we welcomed personnel from the Arkansas Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, and the consul general for the Marshall Islands Consulate General Office of Arkansas. Together, they were given extensive tours of two of our Northwest Arkansas locations to view thermal temperature scanners, dividers between workstations, protective face coverings and more.
Dr. Richard McMullen, state environmental health director for the Arkansas Department of Health noted upon his visit, “Tyson is an industry leader, and these measures are an opportunity for others to learn best practices to keep employees safe.”
We’ve also been able to showcase our safety efforts to the mayors of Springdale, Arkansas and Rogers, Arkansas. They were joined on a tour of our Rogers location by two elected officials and a representative from Governor Asa Hutchinson’s office.
Visitors to our Logansport, Indiana facility have included the state veterinarian and epidemiologist, health department officials at the state and local level, County Commissioner Ryan Browning, and Mayor Chris Martin.
“Tyson has taken strides to help keep their employees safe during this trying time, while employees received paid time to get tested,” said Browning. “We recognize Tyson as being a vital partner in the food chain and the livelihood of our agricultural community and are pleased with all the measures they continue to implement.”
In addition, the National President of The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Domingo Garcia met with Tyson Foods’ CEO Noel White and was given a tour of one of our poultry plants. LULAC is the oldest and largest Hispanic organization in the U.S.
The Mexican Consulate in Little Rock was also present during the LULAC tour.
Most recently, Springdale Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jared Cleveland and other district representatives toured Tyson Foods’ plant in Springdale to learn about safety standards they can implement to keep staff and students safe in the upcoming school year.
“What I found was that Tyson is doing way more than what I anticipated in regard to sanitation,” said Dr. Cleveland. “I discovered that they really care for their employees and went over and above what I thought might be necessary in order to do so. We have that same high level of care for our students and staff.”
Finally, we’ve given national and local media the opportunity to observe our safety measures. Outlets such as the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, local television stations and Telemundo have been granted access to our locations for an insider view.
These visits happened alongside those by members of our own executive leadership team to connect with team members, hear their stories, and thank them for their hard work and dedication amid trying circumstances.
Working together with leaders in this way highlights the need for officials and businesses to collectively solve the complex challenges presented by COVID-19. By sharing information and best practices with each other, we can help slow the spread of the virus.