Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, announced April 24 that it is entering the beef industry by developing an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef.
The retailer said it has been diligently working to improve the quality of its food offering, with its fresh division and meat department at the forefront of this effort. To ensure a supply of quality Angus beef and to meet customer demand for a more transparent supply chain, Walmart teamed up with best-in-class partners, including Texas rancher Bob McClaren of Prime Pursuits and Mc6 Cattle Feeders.
“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 of meat for 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.”
A selection of Angus beef cuts from this supply chain, like steaks and roasts, will be sold in 500 Walmart stores across a number of states in the Southeast, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida.
The company said the new supply chain effort will create steady demand for ranchers and feedyards, offering stability in the marketplace. In addition, more than 250 jobs will be created in Kansas at the Creekstone Farms beef processing facility, with another 200-plus jobs created in Georgia, where Walmart owns a case-ready facility that will be run by FPL Food.
“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,” 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.”
He continued, “It’s been four generations since we began, yet the traditional values of the McClaren family and 44 Farms are as relevant today as they were more than a century ago.”
Hank McWhorter of Mc6 Cattle Feeders said Walmart has listened to its hard-working customers by taking on the “monumental task” of providing steakhouse-quality, natural Black Angus beef to local stores.
“This bold vision will not only elevate backyard barbeques and family dinner tables across the country but transform the entire supply chain,” he said, adding that Mc6 Cattle Feeders is “honored to help make this vision a reality.”
“Mc6 is a family business that has been feeding and raising cattle on the same land in the Texas panhandle for four generations,” he said.
Creekstone president and chief executive officer Satoru Oura said, “Creekstone welcomes the opportunity to partner with industry leaders in providing premium-quality Black Angus beef to Walmart customers while at the same time growing the number of jobs at our state-of-the-art facility.”
Neal said through the new supply chain, Walmart customers can trust that their meat department purchase will be among the best and most delicious they can get. “Having visibility to the end-to-end process lets us know we are helping our customers bring a consistently great piece of meat to their table every time they buy with us,” he said.