SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods announced a program to work with US cattle ranchers on the largest beef transparency program in the country. The company will work to verify sustainable beef production on more than 5 million acres of cattle grazing land. This effort – “Working with Where Food Comes From” – is part of the company’s ongoing focus on sustainability.
“We recognize the importance of sustainable beef production practices that take care of people, the planet and animals,” said Steve Stouffer, group president of Tyson Fresh Meats. “Our goal is to work with ranchers to verify and, when possible, improve those practices so that we can be transparent with our customers and consumers about how cattle in our supply chain are raised.”
Tyson will source cattle from BeefCARE-verified beef producers. BeefCARE is a third-party sustainability verification program for cattle ranchers. The program identifies ranchers, through third-party audits, who are committed to raising cattle using practices that positively impact the land and animals.
BeefCARE standards include practices such as “having a cattle grazing management plan to help promote vegetative growth and diversity, water availability and quality, prevent and reduce soil erosion and support carbon sequestration,” Tyson said.
Currently, more than 200 ranches are enrolled in the BeefCARE program, which is recognized by the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. There are plans to expand the program over the next several years.
To ensure improved management of grasslands and rangelands, Tyson will also work with The Nature Conservancy to evaluate the environmental components of the current BeefCARE program.
“Sustainability is a business imperative in the US beef industry to ensure long-term food production, economic security for ranchers and their communities, and a healthy environment for us all,” said Dr. Sasha Gennet, director of Sustainable Grazing Lands for The Nature Conservancy in North America. “Tyson Foods is setting a great example of a company that is taking proactive steps to achieve a sustainable beef system that supports farmers and ranchers while improving our critical natural resources, including soil, water and wildlife.”
This new program is part of Tyson’s ongoing goals for beef sustainability. In 2018, Tyson became the first US protein company to license Progressive Beef, the largest-ever cattle management and sustainability program for feedlot operators. Progressive Beef focuses on three main pillars: cattle care, food safety and sustainability. Through a rigorous verification process, Progressive Beef increases transparency and helps give consumers assurances about the beef they purchase.
In 2020, Tyson Foods will purchase more than 3 million Progressive Beef-certified cattle, which represents more than half of the cattle in the company’s supply chain.
Sustainability throughout the food system is one of Tyson’s corporate core values. For more information on the company’s sustainability efforts, visit www.tysonsustainability.com.