(This story was updated 6/14 with new information)
Walmart announced today (June 13) it will break ground on what it’s calling its first case-ready meat plant, in Olathe, Kan. The $257 million plant is designed to package and distribute Angus beef products from the new Sustainable Beef LLC plant under construction in North Platte, Neb., in which Walmart also is an investor.
The 320,000-sq.-ft. Olathe plant should open in 2025 and create 600 jobs.
“The new facility … is an important milestone for Walmart as we continue to build a more resilient supply chain and identify ways to increase access to high-quality Angus beef for our customers,” the company said.
The retailer called this its “first owned and operated case-ready beef facility,” although it also owns -- but does not operate -- a case-ready beef plant in Thomasville, Ga., which is operated by FPL Foods. That came online in 2020.
“We first announced our ambitions to create an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef in 2019 with the goal of providing more options for customers seeking higher-quality meat,” the announcement continued. “Since then, we’ve implemented strategies to ensure our customers can purchase excellent beef that delivers tremendous value with last year’s equity investment in Sustainable Beef LLC.”
Walmart announced in August of last year it would take a minority stake in Sustainable Beef, a rancher-owned startup. Sustainable Beef is building a processing plant in North Platte, Neb., that is expected to be operational late next year and capable of processing 1,500 head per day and up to 100,000 per year when fully operational.
The new Olathe facility will take over production of Choice Beef cuts for Walmart stores in Missouri, Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Wisconsin.