Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart has signed an agreement to acquire a minority stake in Sustainable Beef, a rancher-owned company based in North Platte, Nebraska. The grocer’s equity investment is part of a broader partnership to source top-quality angus beef from Sustainable Beef’s new beef processing facility.
This partnership will help supplement the current beef industry and will provide additional opportunities for ranchers to increase their business. As part of the investment, Walmart will also have representation on the company’s board.
Walmart’s investment will help Sustainable Beef open its beef processing facility in Nebraska. The facility is expected to break ground in September and open by late 2024, creating more than 800 new jobs.
“At Walmart, we are dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable beef to our customers, and an investment in Sustainable Beef will give us even more access to these products,” said Tyler Lehr, SVP of merchandising for deli services, meat and seafood.
“We know Sustainable Beef has a responsible approach to beef processing, one that includes 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 cycle, 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 in line with Walmart’s position on antibiotics in animals, which asks suppliers to adopt and implement American Veterinary Medical Association Judicious Use Principles of Antimicrobials. All of these components will help Sustainable Beef to improve and refine the beef supply chain to provide quality beef for its customers.
“We set out on a journey two years ago to create a new beef processing plant to add some capacity to the industry and provide an opportunity for producers to integrate their business of raising quality cattle with the beef processing portion of the industry and do it in a sustainable manner,” said David Briggs, CEO of Sustainable Beef.
“During this journey we found that Sustainable Beef and Walmart aligned on continuing to improve how we care for our animals and crops and provide consumers the positive experience of enjoying quality beef.”