Walmart is taking another step into the meat processing business by buying a stake in a meatpacking company about to build a plant in Nebraska.
Walmart is taking a minority stake in Sustainable Beef LLC, a company formed last year by cattlemen in reaction to what they perceived as unfairly low prices for their cattle. Sustainable Beef plans to break ground next month on a processing plant in North Platte, Neb. The percentage of Walmart’s stake in the venture, and the amount of its expenditure, were not disclosed.
Walmart will buy most of the beef produced at the new plant and will sell it through stores in the Midwest, company executives say. The venture is a way for Walmart to be sure of beef supplies, which became very tight at the height of the pandemic.
“One of the things that we saw in the course of the last two years is, quite frankly, capacity is tight,” a Walmart executive told the Wall Street Journal.
Walmart already owns a meat-packing facility in Augusta, Ga., and a milk-processing plant in Indiana.