- Walmart has opened its first facility to support the company’s new Angus beef supply chain, the company announced in a press release. The 201,000 square-foot facility, located in Thomasville, Georgia, will be operated by beef production company FLP Foods. Construction on the space began in August of 2018.
- Senior vice president of meat Scott Neal said the new supply chain will offer customers unprecedented transparency. Walmart first shared plans to create its own end-to-end beef supply chain last April, noting the importance of meeting customer demand for transparency and improved food quality.
- In addition to transparency, owning its own supply chain will cut costs for Walmart and help it keep prices down for customers as its grocery business booms.
Less than two years after breaking ground on its facility, the retailer is ready to take its meat to market. Meat from the facility will include higher-quality Angus cuts like steaks and roasts and will be distributed to 500 Walmart stores in southeastern states including Georgia, Florida and Alabama.
In addition to working with FLP Foods to run the facility, Walmart will work with Angus beef suppliers including Texas rancher Bob McClaren of Prime Pursuits, as well as Mc6 Cattle Feeders for feed. Creekstone Farms, which is located in Kansas, will process Walmart’s beef supply.
While Walmart still sources most of its beef from Tyson Foods and Cargill, the decision to take its Angus supply chain in-house was motivated by having an end-to-end view of its supply as the product has grown significantly more popular with customers in the last five years, Neal told Bloomberg.
"Five hundred stores isn’t huge but it is a meaningful footprint," Tim Ramey, a Tyson analyst at Pivotal Research Group, told Bloomberg. "It’s congruent with steps by other large retailers to get more visibility into their meat supply chains."
The move is part of a greater push by the retailer to offer fresher, better quality products. Last month, Walmart introduced fresh grab-and-go sushi to 28 stores in the Charlotte, North Carolina, market. The company has also refreshed its produce department and added more organic options.