Ground beef central
Feb. 3, 2014
by Meat&Poultry Staff
WICHITA, Kan. – Cargill has launched several initiatives aimed at promoting transparency regarding its ground beef products. Additional materials are in the works ahead of the grilling season that usually begins with Memorial Day weekend.
“Based on dialogue we had with consumers and retailers, Cargill designed these ground beef communications initiatives to provide information that enhances consumer awareness about ground beef products regarding how they are made and used,” said John Keating, president of Cargill’s Wichita-based beef business.
Core initiatives currently include online materials, enhanced labeling of ground beef products and pre-printed on-pack Quick Response (QR) codes.
The company is ahead of schedule labeling finely textured beef. Cargill announced in November 2013 plans to label products containing finely textured beef. Cargill said its research showed consumers want transparency, and beef products containing finely textured beef should be clearly labeled for consumers.
So, effective Jan. 20, all Cargill brand US-produced fresh ground beef products containing finely textured beef carry the declaration “Contains Finely Textured Beef”, Cargill said. This includes both consumer, bulk and Our Certified brand products. Cargill's Our Certified brand ground beef chubs will include the printed declaration on retail packaging. In support of the labeling initiative, Cargill developed GroundBeefAnswers.com, a website for its finely textured beef. Consumers can access detailed information and videos about finely textured beef.
Another information initiative is CargillGroundBeef.com, a consumer website featuring information about ground beef, a recipe database and educational resources.
Cargill's Our Certified ground beef brand has a refreshed logo and design elements that include a QR code on the front of the package. The code gives consumers instant access to CargillGroundBeef.com. Consumers also will be able to trace the ground beef back to the processing plant where it was produced, the company said. Ground beef packages will include "gluten free" statement and will clearly identify 93-percent lean ground beef products as "Lean Ground Beef".
“More than ever, consumers are interested in how the food they eat is produced, and we are committed to providing industry leadership with a greater level of transparency, Keating said. “We are supplying consumers with information that should give them complete confidence in the quality, nutrition, flavor and affordability of the ground beef they feed their families. That’s important to them, which makes it important to us, and it is what the category leader needs to be doing.”