Wespath Withdraws Tyson Foods Shareholder Resolution

For Immediate Release
February 6, 2014

Contact: M. Colette Nies, Managing Director, Communications
(847) 866-4296 or cnies@gbophb.org

Glenview, IL—The Wespath Investment Management division of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church (GBPHB) announced the withdrawal of a shareholder resolution co-filed in the fall of 2013 asking Tyson Foods, Inc. to report on business risks and opportunities associated with the use of gestation crates in its supply chain. Gestation crates are individual pens that confine pregnant sows in small spaces that severely limit the movement of the sows. Many restaurants and retailers have implemented policies to discontinue purchasing pork from companies using gestation crates, and nine states have banned their use.

Co-Filers Withdraw Resolution

The three organizations that co-filed the resolution—Wespath, the Humane Society of the United States, and Green Century Capital Management—withdrew it following Tyson Foods’ recent announcement of new animal welfare guidelines. The new guidelines ask producers to improve the quantity and quality of space for gestating sows when building new barns or re-designing existing facilities.

Tyson’s new guidelines also:

  • require producers to install video monitoring equipment in barns
  • encourage producers to stop using manual blunt force trauma to euthanize piglets
  • encourage producers to use an anesthetic for minimizing pain from certain procedures

Anita Green, Wespath’s manager of Socially Responsible Investing, said, “To be successful, the animal agriculture industry must produce meat safely, humanely and sustainably. As long-term shareholders, we recognize Tyson’s responsiveness to evolving customer expectations with regard to sustainable, humane pork production. We believe these actions will benefit Tyson, its shareholders and consumers.”

More information is available here.

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About Wespath
Wespath is the investment management division of the General Board (in operation since 1908), recognized as the country’s largest faith-based benefit plan administrator and pension fund/investment asset manager. With more than $20 billion in assets under management, it is among the top 100 pension fund managers in the U.S. based on assets under management. Wespath invests over $2 billion of the assets under management on behalf of institutional investors such as United Methodist Church annual conferences and foundations, and other Church-affiliated organizations. As a socially responsible investor, Wespath is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.

GBPHB is the largest faith-based pension fund in the United States and ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the country. As a socially responsible investor, GBPHB is actively involved in shareholder advocacy, proxy voting, portfolio screening and community investing.

 

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