Springdale, Arkansas-based Tyson Foods has become the largest beef, chicken and pork processor in the world since its completed merger with IBP, and at the company’s Annual Shareholder’s Meeting, chairman and CEO John Tyson welcomed the opportuntity to cater for its customers’ orders more efficiently, “one order, one invoice and one truck”.

Held at the Walton Arts Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the meeting saw the company reveal plans to apply its proven branding strategies in the chicken market to beef and pork.

The company’s promotional campaign for its fully-cooked Thomas E. Wilson brand of beef and pork products began this week.

CFO Steve Hankins provided a review of the new company’s financial position and discussed the progress made in reducing debt by over US$550m since closing the cash tender offer for IBP. Mr. Hankins also reiterated that the company expects 2002 diluted earnings per share to be in the range of US$1.10 to US$1.20.

Included in the formal business of the meeting, the company announced that the nominees for election to the Board of Directors, as set forth in the company’s Proxy Statement, were elected. Elected to the Board for the upcoming year were Don Tyson, John Tyson, Joe F. Starr, Leland E. Tollett, Shelby Massey, Barbara Tyson, Lloyd Hackley, Donald E. Wray, Gerald M. Johnston, Jim Kever, David Jones, Barbara Allen, Robert L. Peterson, Richard L. Bond, and Jo Ann Smith.

A company proposal to amend the 2000 Stock Incentive Plan was passed.

As is customary, John Tyson spent a portion of the meeting focusing on the recognition of Tyson team members who have “made a positive difference in the past year”. Among these were the so-called “Tyson Heroes […] people from all areas of the company who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in providing inspiration for their fellow team members and making a difference in their communities”.

Their actions ranged from volunteering in their communities, to helping underprivileged children, to feeding rescue workers at ground zero in New York and at the Pentagon in Washington DC.