Walmart Deal Aims to Boost Beef Supply

Walmart Deal Aims to Boost Beef Supply
The meat aisle of a Walmart store in Emporia, Kansas, in August 2022 (Shutterstock)

Walmart Inc. of Bentonville on Wednesday announced an agreement to acquire a stake in Sustainable Beef LLC of North Platte, Nebraska, part of a broader partnership with the rancher-owned company to source Angus beef.

Financial details of the agreement were not immediately known.

The retail giant's investment will help Sustainable Beef open a new beef processing facility in North Platte. The facility is expected to break ground next month and open by late 2024, Walmart said in a news release. The 1,500-head per day beef plant will employ over 800 people and provide cattlemen the opportunity to participate in a cooperative hybrid model.

As part of the investment, Walmart will have representation on Sustainable Beef's board.

"This investment provides greater visibility into the beef supply chain and complements Walmart's regeneration commitment to improve grazing management," said Tyler Lehr, who oversees deli services, meat and seafood for Walmart U.S.

The investment is Walmart's latest move to strengthen the beef supply chain. In 2020, it opened a 201,000-SF meatpacking facility in Thomasville, Georgia. The facility was part of $90 million plan to distribute steaks, roasts and other Angus beef cuts to 500 stores in the Southeast.