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Walmart opens packing plant in Georgia

Walmart further integrates with the opening of a beef processing plant in Georgia. What does that mean for producers?

Last spring, Walmart announced that it had established new partnerships with suppliers to offer customers an “end-to-end Angus beef supply chain.”

In April 2019, Walmart shared that future beef purchases would be sourced from the following:

Walmart said, “Bob McClaren of 44 Farms and Prime Pursuits is helping us source cattle raised on family farms and ranches. We are also working with Mc6 Cattle Feeders to feed them. Creekstone Farms will process the cattle at their facility, where more than 250 jobs will be created. FPL Foods will operate our case ready packing facility, where the meat gets packaged and sent to our stores, creating an additional 200 plus jobs.

Now, earlier this month, Walmart announced that it would be opening its own meat processing facility in Thomasville, Ga.

In an article for The New Food Economy, Sam Bloch writes, "It's a step the company took to reduce its reliance on the heavily consolidated beef industry. But, for some ranchers, it may represent a new monopoly of its own."

When fully operating, the 200,000-square-foot plant will employ 350 people and supply beef to 500 retail stores.

“Our new Angus beef supply chain is a perfect example of Walmart's dedication to bringing customers high-quality food at a great price," Scott Neal, senior vice president of meat at Walmart U.S. "By enlisting a number of top companies to take part in our Angus beef supply chain, we’ll be able to provide customers with unprecedented transparency throughout the supply chain and leverage the learning we gain across our business."

At the grand opening of the plant, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp said, “Our success is only made possible because of great companies like Walmart and their willingness to invest in places like Thomasville, Georgia in the state. This $90 million to $140 million project represents a game-changing investment in Thomasville and I certainly realize that. That is why I’m here today.”

Following the ribbon cutting, Walmart also gave out over $12,000 in grants to the Georgia Wildlife Federation, the Thomasville Police Force and Second Harvest Food Bank.

“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,” said Bob McClaren, of 44 Farms, in a press release.

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Beef
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