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Tyson Foods stakes its own claim on developing alternative protein products


SD Ag Connection - April 24, 2019

SPRINGDALE, AR - Tyson Foods has sold its stake in Beyond Meat, an alternative protein company, set to go public next week.

Relations between the two companies had become tense, particularly after Tyson CEO, Noel White announced in February that the company will be creating its own plant-based protein products, multiple sources confirmed to Axios, reports CNBC.

Reportedly, Beyond Meat no longer wanted the Tyson Ventures representative to attend its board meetings, despite his attendance being a contractual right.

A part of the deterioration of the relationship was due to fear of competition between the two companies; Tyson was interested in the alternative protein market especially after seeing its quick-serve and broader restaurant sector potential, Axios reported.

The other concern was that Tyson would interfere with potential mergers or acquisitions, yet the nature of the interference is unclear, the report said. 

Tyson Foods is among the larger protein-focused food companies that are investing heavily in research and development of alternative protein. They are the second largest meat producer in the United States and the world's biggest exporter of American beef.  

That puts it at odds with traditional suppliers of meat. Cattle and sheep ranchers and hog and poultry growers have successfully lobbied legislators in 17 states (including South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska) to pass laws that amend current state statute to prevent insect-based, vegetable-based, or lab-grown food from being labeled as “meat.”



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