BENTONVILLE, ARK. – Walmart is working with Angus beef cattle producers and processors to develop the company’s own supply chain for Angus beef.
“As clean labels, traceability and transparency become more and more important to customers, we’ve made plans to enter into the beef industry creating an unmatched system that allows us to deliver consistent quality and value,” said Scott Neal, senior vice-president, Meat, Walmart U.S. “By enlisting a number of best-in-class companies to take part in the supply chain, we’ll be able to provide customers with unprecedented quality, provide transparency throughout the supply chain and leverage the learnings we gain across our business.”
Partners in the company’s supply chain endeavor include Creekstone Farms, rancher Bob McClaren of 44 Farms and Prime Pursuits in Cameron, Texas, and Hereford, Texas-based Mc6 Cattle Feeders. Mr. McClaren will help Walmart source cattle, and Mc6 Cattle Feeders will feed the cattle.
“No bigger paradigm change has taken place in the beef industry than what is happening with Walmart bringing truly high-quality, all-natural, no-hormones-added Black Angus beef to its customers,” Mr. McClaren said. “This bold vision gives Walmart a special place at the table by contributing to the most enjoyable and memorable moments in the lives of its customers.”
Creekstone Farms, a subsidiary of Japan-based Marubeni Corp., will process the cattle at the company’s Arkansas City, Kas., facility. Creekstone expects to add 250 jobs at the company’s Kansas processing facility. The initiative also will add more than 200 jobs in Georgia where Walmart owns a case-ready beef facility that will be run by FPL Food L.L.C., Augusta, Ga.
“Walmart’s ever-growing command presence in retail paints an optimistic future, one that proves beneficial for many involved,” said Francois Leger, president and chief executive officer of FPL Food. “In addition to FPL employees, this will provide many opportunities for the agriculture community to include farmers, ranchers and cattlemen alike. The positive impact will be felt by many.”
The retailer plans to offer a selection of steaks and roasts in 500 Walmart stores in the southeastern United States, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
“Beef is an important purchase for our customer … it’s likely the most expensive item on their plate and they are treating themselves when they buy it,” Mr. Neal said. “Creating this supply chain allows us to treat our customers by giving them unprecedented quality and transparency.”
Hank McWhorter of Mc6 Cattle Feeders said Walmart’s “…bold vision will not only elevate backyard barbeques and family dinner tables across the country but transform the entire supply chain.”