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World's largest retailer sets up own beef supply chain


News Staff - May 2, 2019

BENTONVILLE, AR - Walmart Inc. is setting up its own Angus beef end-to-end supply chain. According to Senior Vice President of Meat at Walmart U.S. Scott Neal, the company will be creating a system to provide transparency and traceability throughout the entire supply chain to meet demands from customers who want to know the origin of their meat.

The world’s largest retailer partnered with Texas rancher Bob McClaren of Prime Pursuits and 44 Farms to expand their branded beef program.  Cattle will be fed at Mc6 Cattle Feeders outside of Hereford, TX, then processed by Creekstone Farms in Arkansas City, KS.  Packaging will be done in Augusta, GA by FPL Foods.  More than 450 jobs will be added to the processing and packaging facilities as part of the announcement.

Cuts will be marketed as all-natural, no-hormones-added Black Angus beef at 500 stores across the southeast. Walmart has similar farm to store integrated value chains with poultry and dairy. Walmart has separately increased its control over its dairy supply by opening a processing plant in Indiana that supplies private-label milk to stores.

Normally, Walmart would buy Angus beef from companies like Tyson Foods Inc and Cargill Inc.

In a recent Reuter’s report, beef industry expert Cassie Fish who formerly worked at Tyson, said “It’s a play for the millennials – consumers who want more transparency in food production and no growth hormones in their meat.”

While the move has some in various industry segments scratching their heads, more than one analyst see it as continued evidence of structural shifts in meat packing, processing and retailing.

In the Reuter’s report, analyst Jeremy Scott said,  “There appears to be an emerging trend of backwards integration into the ag supply chain.”



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