Tyson's vague about details
In response to questions posed about the growers meetings that were held at four different times at the Carroll County Fairgrounds Wednesday -- meetings that the media was not allowed to attend -- Worth Sparkman, manager of Public Relations at Tyson Foods Inc., had this to say.
"As part of our efforts to maintain good communications, we held a series of meetings with contract poultry farmers in the Berryville-Green Forest Complex on Wednesday to talk about some adjustments we're making in operations.
"There are about 230 contract broiler growers in the complex and we experienced a good turnout.
"A discussion about pay for premium housing was not the purpose of the meetings; however, some questions were raised about the subject.
"We indicated that as part of our efforts to ensure our business is running successfully, the company checks for compliance with premium housing specifications.
"In order for contract farmers to continue to receive premium housing pay, they must continue to meet the requirements.
"For competitive reasons, we're reluctant to share all of the details given during the meetings."
Sparkman did release the following, saying:
* Because of changing market conditions, we're making some adjustments in the weight of the birds we're producing at Berryville-Green Forest.
* In addition, Tyson Foods is giving contract farmers in the complex the option of receiving a partial advance payment for birds they raise for us. This mid-flock payment would be made four weeks after the birds are placed on the farm.
* The company is increasing the energy allowance for poultry farmers in the complex and is also providing an allowance for windrowing poultry litter in the chicken houses between flocks.