Sustainable Beef

As more people around the world enter the middle class, global demand for protein is growing. So is consumer desire for foods that have been produced in a sustainable manner. For beef, that means a supply chain that is socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable.

Social responsibility includes animal health and welfare, the health and safety of workers in the beef supply chain, and environmental stewardship. Environmental factors include biodiversity, air emissions, water use, energy use, land management, waste and by-products.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), livestock production in the United States accounts for 4.2 percent of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (beef cattle represent just 2.2 percent), compared to 27 percent from the transportation sector and the 31 percent from the energy sector. The beef industry continues working toward greater efficiency and transparency.

Our commitment

Cargill is committed to sustainable practices across our beef supply chain. We work to protect animal welfare, reduce environmental impact, increase transparency and keep people safe – including the workers who interact with cattle and consumers who eat our beef products.

Our progress

For decades, Cargill has been working with thousands of family farmers, ranchers and producers to increase the efficiency of beef production. We are a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and are helping lead efforts with the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and U.S. Roundtable for Sustainable beef. We collaborate with industry partners and customers to improve the sustainability and transparency of the beef supply chain.

We also continue to improve livestock feed efficiency. Over the last 15 years we have seen an overall trend in reducing the volume of feed for each pound of beef produced. We focus on developing more sustainable ways to manufacture feed and improve the nutritional and feed conversion value of feed. We participate in the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Crops, whose work also includes a focus on sustainable feed. Learn more about our animal nutrition business.

Our presence

Cargill is one of North America’s largest beef processors, harvesting more than eight million cattle and producing nearly eight billion pounds of boxed beef and by-products each year. We operate eight production facilities throughout the United States and Canada, including three dedicated regional beef facilities designed to more quickly respond to changing customer needs. In addition, Cargill operates beef processing and cattle feeding operations in Australia through a joint venture with Teys Australia.

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Partnership & Collaboration

We collaborate with others across the beef industry to identify and promote best practices.

Assessment & Certification

We implement assessment programs and pursue certification to increase transparency.

Health & Welfare

We are a leader in humane livestock handling, we continue to reduce use of antibiotics, and we protect the safety of workers and the food we produce.

Environmental Impact

We conserve natural resources, improve water and energy efficiency, and reduce solid waste and reliance on fossil fuels.