September 8, 2022

As part of plans to increase access to quality beef at affordable prices for customers, grocery giant Walmart has signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Sustainable Beef LLC, a rancher-owned company based in North Platte, Nebraska.

The equity investment gives Walmart representation on Sustainable Beef’s board and is part of a broader strategic partnership to source top-quality Angus beef from Sustainable Beef’s new $400 million beef processing facility. It should also boost capacity for the beef industry and ensure long-term economic viability for cattle ranchers.

Walmart store
Walmart wants access to quality beef at more affordable prices.

The plant in North Platte is expected to break ground in September and open by late 2024, creating more than 800 new jobs. Sustainable Beef’s CEO David Briggs commented: “We set out on a journey two years ago to create a new beef processing plant to add capacity and provide an opportunity for producers to integrate their business of raising quality cattle with beef processing in a sustainable manner.”

Responsible beef processing

The CEO added that Walmart aligned on the company’s vision of improving how it cared for its animals and crops. Tyler Lehr, senior vice president of merchandising for deli services, meat and seafood at Walmart US, commented: “We know Sustainable Beef has a responsible approach to beef processing, creating long-term growth for cattle ranchers and family farmers. This investment provides greater visibility into the beef supply chain and complements Walmart’s regeneration commitment to improve grazing management.”

Sustainable Beef will work with cattle feeders and ranchers to understand critical elements of the supply chain, such as grain sourcing and grazing management. Animal care will follow the Five Freedoms, and there will be a consistent approach to antibiotic use and reporting across herds.

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