Wespath Co-Files Shareholder Resolution at Tyson Foods
Wespath has joined The Humane Society of the U.S. and Green Century Capital Management in asking Tyson Foods to consider the reputational and financial risks associated with the use of gestation crates by its suppliers. Wespath co-filed a shareholder resolution that asks the company to issue a report on the operational impact of gestation crates, including brand reputation, customer relations, public perception and regulatory compliance.
Gestation crates are individual housing stalls for breeder sows. They are designed to decrease aggressive behavior and allow for precise feeding. The stalls are so small, however, that the sows are unable to turn around or lie down on their sides (their natural sleeping position).
Many consider gestation crates a form of animal cruelty. A number of Tyson’s competitors, including Smithfield Foods, ConAgra Foods and Hormel Foods, and nearly 60 leading global pork buyers, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Costco, Safeway, Kroger and Oscar Mayer, have announced their intention to discontinue sourcing products from suppliers using gestation crates. In addition, nine states have banned the use of gestation crates.
Unless successfully challenged by the company, the Wespath/Humane Society/Green Century Capital Management resolution will appear on Tyson’s 2014 proxy ballot and will be considered by shareholders at the 2014 annual meeting.
Shareholder resolutions are filed under the name of Wespath’s trustee, The UMC Benefit Board, Inc.