Supply chain issues and ESG initiatives are two of the topics that dealmakers and strategic buyers have focused on in 2022. The fallout of the pandemic has caused worldwide tensions on supply chain operations. Additionally, stakeholders are beginning to demand change from the way their firms are operating, with a focus on ESG. It appears that Walmart is looking to check two boxes with one investment.

Walmart has acquired a minority stake in Sustainable Beef LLC, a rancher-owned beef processing plant. The investment is part of Walmart’s broader strategic partnership to source angus beef from Sustainable Beef’s processing plants.

Sustainable Beef wants to work with cattle feeders and ranchers across the supply chain to understand the elements of operations. The company will operate in accordance to the Five Freedoms, a standard for animal welfare. Sustainable Beef will follow a consistent approach to antibiotics use as stated in Walmart’s position on antibiotics in animals, asking suppliers to follow the American Veterinary Medical Association‘s judicious use principles of antimicrobials.

“At Walmart, we are dedicated to providing high-quality, affordable beef to our customers, and an investment in Sustainable Beef LLC will give us even more access to these products,” says Tyler Lehr, senior vice president of merchandising for deli services, meat and seafood, Walmart U.S. “We know Sustainable Beef LLC has a responsible approach to beef processing, one that includes creating long-term growth for cattle ranchers and family farmers. This investment provides greater visibility into the beef supply chain and complements Walmart’s regeneration commitment to improve grazing management.”

Walmart is attempting to enhance the market for beef in general with the hope to provide long-term viability. The company is looking to create impact in its investment through its focus on sustainable business practices and ESG responsibility.

Do you think Walmart’s strategy is the right play? Let me know your thoughts at [email protected]

-Cole Lipsky