Walmart, Bentonville, Ark., announced its entry into the beef industry, developing an end-to-end supply chain for Angus beef.

To ensure supply of quality Angus beef and to meet customer demand for a more transparent supply chain, Walmart is working with best-in-class partners, including 44 Farms, Cameron, Texas. Cattle will be sourced by 44 Farms through the seedstock operation’s newly created Prime Pursuits feeder calf program. Feeder cattle will be fed at Mc6 Cattle Feeders, Hereford, Texas. Cattle will be processed at Creekstone Farms, Arkansas City, Kan. Further beef packaging will be done at FPL Foods in Augusta, Ga. From there, the case-ready meat will be sent out to Walmart stores.

“As clean labels, traceability and transparency become more and more important to customers, we’ve made plans to enter into the beef industry, creating an unmatched system that allows us to deliver consistent quality and value,” says Scott Neal, senior vice president, meat, Walmart U.S. “By enlisting a number of best-in-class companies to take part in the supply chain, we’ll be able to provide customers with unprecedented quality, provide transparency throughout the supply chain and leverage the learnings we gain across our business.”

A selection of Angus beef cuts like steaks and roasts from this supply chain will be sold in 500 Walmart stores across a number of states in the southeast, including Georgia, Alabama and Florida.

The retailer’s new supply chain effort will create a steady demand for ranchers and feed yards offering stability in the marketplace. In addition, the new venture is expected to create an additional 250 jobs for the packing plant. FPL Foods expects to add an additional 200 jobs.

“No bigger paradigm change has taken place in the beef industry than what is happening with Walmart bringing truly high-quality, all-natural, no-hormones-added Black Angus beef to its customers. This bold vision gives Walmart a special place at the table by contributing to the most enjoyable and memorable moments in the lives of its customers,” says Bob McClaren, president of Prime Pursuits. “It’s been four generations since we began, yet the traditional values of the McClaren family and 44 Farms are as relevant today as they were more than a century ago.”

“Walmart has listened to its hard-working customers and taken on the monumental task of providing steakhouse-quality, natural Black Angus beef to their local stores. This bold vision will not only elevate backyard barbeques and family dinner tables across the country, but [also] transform the entire supply chain,” says Hank McWhorter, president of Mc6 Cattle Feeders. “Mc6 Cattle Feeders is honored to help make this vision a reality. Mc6 is a family business that has been feeding and raising cattle on the same land in the Texas panhandle for four generations.”

“Creekstone welcomes the opportunity to partner with industry leaders in providing premium quality Black Angus beef to Walmart customers while, at the same time, growing the number of jobs at our state-of-the-art facility,” adds Satoru Oura, president and CEO of Creekstone.

“Walmart’s ever-growing command presence in retail paints an optimistic future, one that proves beneficial for many involved,” says Francois Leger, president and CEO of FPL Foods. “In addition to FPL employees, this will provide many opportunities for the agriculture community to include farmers, ranchers and cattlemen alike. The positive impact will be felt by many.”