Environmental activists were at the Tyson meatpacking plant in Perry Thursday delivering a petition bearing more than 1,000 names. It was part of a nationwide drive calling for the company to purchase sustainable grains as a way to reduce water pollution.
A group calling itself Mighty Earth is delivering petitions at seven Tyson locations across the country, A field organizer for the Iowa chapter of Mighty Earth, Elise Peterson-Trujillo, says the environmentalists are asking the nation’s largest meat producer to live by its pledge to pursue sustainable practices.
“We’re asking Tyson to make a commitment to purchasing feed grains grown using responsible, sustainable practices like cover crops, natural buffers, reduced tillage,” she says.
Peterson-Trujillo says they’ve targeted Tyson because of statements made by the company’s management.
“Their most recently appointed CEO Tom Hayes has said he wants to place sustainability at the center of the company’s future plans," she says. "We want to make sure he’s following up that statement with actions.”
In a statement, Tyson says it’s committed to doing its part to address concerns about pollution from crops, but believes “any real progress must involve a broad coalition of interests, not just a single company.”
Tyson goes on to say it has made significant progress using grain more efficiently in its chicken business, and it “will continue to talk to farmers, academic experts, government regulators and environmental groups about additional improvements in how grain is produced and used.”