SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KFSM) — Community members and environmentalists will rally outside Tyson’s annual shareholder meeting to voice their concerns that Tyson has not shown any progress on its promise to deliver sweeping improvements to farming practices causing widespread water pollution.
Protesters will gather at 319 E. Emma Avenue in Springdale at 9:15 a.m. Thursday (Feb. 6).
Two years ago, Tyson announced that it would adopt sustainable farming practices on two million acres used for animal feed by 2020.
The commitment came after 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, activists say there are no public reports of progress.
Mighty Earth volunteers are calling on Tyson to “Keep your promise” by implementing farming practices that protect soil health, prevent water pollution and mitigate climate change.
“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,” said Mighty Earth campaign director Lucia von Reusner.
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, according to a press release.
One month ago Mighty Earth and Care2.org launched a petition calling on Tyson to change and more than 50,000 people have already signed on. Activists will deliver these signatures to Tyson leadership at the shareholder meeting.