USA – Tyson Fresh Meats, a unit of Tyson Foods, has won a US$440 million defense contract to provide fresh beef and frozen ground beef products to military commissaries in the central and eastern United States.

The company also won a separate US$286.6 million contract to provide fresh beef and frozen ground beef products to commissaries in the U.S. western and Pacific regions, Reuters said.

The two contracts are for a 24-month period from 2018 to 2020 and with options could last through Oct. 17, 2023.

Additionally, Live Kindly reported that Tom Hayes, the CEO of major U.S. meat producer Tyson Foods, believes that investing in vegan food was a wise decision for the company.

Speaking to Feedstuffs, the animal agriculture industry’s leading source of news and analysis, Hayes stated: “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right?”

Hayes was referring to a series of investments in plant-based food that Tyson has made over the past couple of years.

In 2016, the meat giant launched Tyson Ventures LLC, a US$150 million venture capital fund dedicated to investing in emerging brands that are developing “breakthrough technologies, business models, and products” with the potential to create a more sustainable food system.

Last December, Tyson increased its five percent stake in vegan meat brand Beyond Meat that had been established the previous year.

While the new investment was not disclosed, Tyson’s capital has helped the plant-based meat company to expand its distribution to more than 20,000 grocery stores across the U.S., triple its production, and more than double its sales since the initial investment.

Despite pushback from vegan consumers who cried hypocrisy, the numbers don’t lie – and Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brown acknowledges the value in striking a deal with the meat producer.