One of the largest food manufacturing companies in the world. It uses incarcerated labor at its factories and has prison labor in its supply chain.
Tyson Foods, Inc., headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the largest food companies in the world. The company's products, marketed under Ball Park, Hillshire Farm, Jimmy Dean, Tyson, and other brands, are sold in 140 countries. In 2023, the company employed approximately 139,000 people and generated $52.9 billion in revenue.
Tyson uses incarcerated labor at its poultry plants. For example, incarcerated individuals in Alabama are "leased" out and transported to day jobs at poultry plants operated by Tyson. Incarcerated workers in Alabama allege that similar "work release programs" operate as "convict leasing" systems, under which they are forced to work for companies that pay them wages lower than those required by law; impose long and demanding work hours and sometimes unsafe working conditions; and exploit them in other ways, knowing that they cannot refuse to work or raise concerns about workplace conditions without risking serious disciplinary action, such as being returned to "more violent and life-threatening" prisons.
In addition, Tyson purchases food products from suppliers that source from prison labor programs. For example, cattle raised by people incarcerated at the Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola)—a maximum-security prison located on the grounds of a former slave plantation—are processed at a slaughterhouse in Texas that supplies Tyson, Sam's Club, and other companies.
Tyson's policies prohibit the use of forced labor in all of its operations and facilities but do not explicitly bar the use of prison labor. The company has stated that its "work release programs" are voluntary.