USA – Tyson Foods, a processor and marketer of protein-centric brands, has partnered with Where Food Comes From, a provider of certification and verification services to the food industry, in a move to accelerate sustainable food production.

The new beef transparency programme aims to verify sustainable beef production practices on more than 5 million acres of cattle grazing land. According to Tyson, it would be the largest known initiative of its kind in the US.

“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.”

“We recognise the importance of sustainable beef production practices that take care of people, the planet and animals,”

Steve Stouffer – group president, Tyson Fresh Meats.

Working with Where Food Comes From, Tyson will source cattle from BeefCare verified beef producers who are committed to raising cattle using practices that positively impact the land and animals.

BeefCare is a third-party sustainability verification programme for cattle ranchers, recognised by the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

The programme uses third-party audits to verify that farmers and ranchers are using best practices in regards to animal care, the environment and communities. More than 200 ranches are currently enrolled, and there are plans to expand the programme in coming years.

Tyson Foods will also work with The Nature Conservancy to evaluate and enhance the environmental components of the current BeefCare programme, in order to ensure improved management of grasslands and rangelands.

“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,” Dr. Sasha Gennet, director of sustainable grazing lands for The Nature Conservancy in North America, said.

“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.”

Last year, Tyson announced a partnership with US non-profit organisation Environmental Defense Fund, as part of its goal of improving land stewardship practices on 2 million acres of corn.

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