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U.S. Walmart Gets Into The Beef Business

According to a report released by a major farm lender in the U.S. Walmart officially entered the beef business in January when it opened a case-ready beef plant in Georgia after establishing its own Angus supply chain.
 
CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division says if Walmart’s new beef plant and Angus supply chain succeed, it could bring other major retailers into the market.
 
"Walmart sees opportunity and is moving up the supply chain at a time of historically high margins for beef processors," said Will Sawyer, animal protein economist with CoBank. "We believe their current beef strategy is something of a test, not only for Walmart and its suppliers, but also its customers."
 
The report says Walmart has to convince its customers it's worth paying a premium price for its beef which is hormone-free, traceable, and potentially of higher grade.
 
Sawyer says the new supply chain will account for less than 5% of Walmart’s U.S. beef business and less than 0.5% of U.S. beef production.
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