Tyson Foods has become the first US food company to verify sustainable cattle production practices at scale.
The company will work alongside cattle ranchers to verify sustainable beef production practices on more than 5 million acres of cattle grazing land in the US.
Working with Where Food Comes From – the largest provider of certification and verification services to the food industry – Tyson Foods will source cattle from BEEFCARE-verified beef producers who are committed to raising cattle using practices that positively impact the land and animals, and also want to promote it.
BeefCARE is a third-party sustainability verification program for cattle ranchers. The program uses third-party audits to verify that farmers and ranchers are using best practices in caring for animals, the environment, and the people and communities who support them.
BeefCARE standards include practices such as having a cattle grazing management plan to help promote vegetative growth and diversity, water availability and quality, prevent/reduce soil erosion, and support carbon sequestration.
More than 200 ranches are currently enrolled in the program with plans to expand the program over the next several years.
To ensure improved management of grasslands and rangelands, Tyson Foods will also work with The Nature Conservancy to evaluate and enhance the environmental components of the current BeefCARE program. Nature Conservancy experts will provide input to Where Foods Comes From based on scientific analyses and land and livestock management experience.
“We recognise 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.”
Sasha Gennet, director of Sustainable Grazing Lands for The Nature Conservancy in North America, added: “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.
“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.”