LITTLE ROCK, Ark., June 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Tyson Foods, Inc. is doing a better job valuing cultural diversity because of its partnership with the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic organization, according to the company's chairman and CEO, John Tyson.
Tyson spoke today in Little Rock at the 76th League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National Convention. Tyson Foods, which employs more than 40,000 Hispanics, developed a working relationship with LULAC three years ago.
"Every day -- just like the rest of America -- we're learning and growing and benefiting from diversity that has allowed our company to mature in ways we never knew were possible," Tyson told the convention.
"Some organizations advocate change by searching for the tension in relationships, the points of difference," Tyson said. "It's been our experience that LULAC has achieved positive change by finding the common ground. When you have a partner who listens to you, you in return tend to listen to them," he added.
Through their relationship, LULAC encouraged Tyson to consider including Hispanic representation on the company's board and senior management ranks. After a search for qualified board candidates, Tyson appointed the company's first Hispanic board member in 2004. Albert C. Zapanta, president and CEO of the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce, is currently one of nine directors on the company's board.
Tyson Foods places a strong emphasis on the effective development of diversity in all aspects of its business. Today, there are a growing number of Team Members with diverse backgrounds in the company's management ranks. Last year J. Alberto Gonzalez-Pita was named Executive Vice President and General Counsel of Tyson Foods.
"We want to be able to demonstrate diversity throughout the ranks of our workforce," Tyson said. "It's the right thing to do, but it's also good business."
Other examples of Tyson's Hispanic inclusion efforts include: * Tyson's Core Values -- Through its Core Values, Tyson "strives to be a company of diverse people working together" and operating "with integrity and trust in all we do" * Leadership and Organizational Development Department -- An on-going Tyson goal is to identify and prepare people, including Hispanic Team Members, to become future leaders through the company's Emerging Leaders and Mentoring programs * Tyson Leadership College -- The company provides training to developing management and leadership skills. This includes classes on values and ethics, communications, coaching and problem-solving * Tyson Workforce Home Benefit Program -- The company launched a $50 million initiative in 2004 designed to help Tyson Team Members obtain the financial assistance and expertise needed to buy a home * Newcomers Financial Literacy Program -- Some Tyson plants support classes designed to help workers learn how to develop a credit history, buy a home, write a check or participate in the retirement savings program * Tyson Supplier Diversity Program -- Tyson offers equal opportunity to all potential suppliers of goods and services. For example, the company tracks procurement with Hispanic-owned firms and has a procurement goal that targets Hispanic suppliers * Hispanic Marketing/Contributions -- Tyson has product marketing efforts that target the growing Hispanic marketplace. The company also makes charitable donations that specifically benefit the Hispanic community
Tyson Foods has a booth at LULAC's National Convention, where the company will feature aspects of their "Powered by Tyson" campaign. It will also feature presentations by Chef Pepin and nutrition counselor Claudia Gonzalez on the importance of food safety, nutrition and exercise. Information will also be provided on the financial literacy program, Building the Future, led by nationally renowned financial advisor, Roland Goicoechea, which is being offered in some Tyson plants.
Accounts of events from the LULAC expo floor, perspectives of the day's events and personal thoughts on the issues discussed can be accessed by logging onto http://www.tysonfoodsinc.com/powerblog .
Tyson Foods, Inc. founded in 1935 with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork and the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products, which are marketed under the "Powered by Tyson(TM)" strategy. Tyson is the recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. Tyson has approximately 114,000 Team Members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world. Tyson Foods, Inc.
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