At Cargill, our values and principles come from decades of working with thousands of family farmers, ranchers and producers who support our business. This heritage has shaped what it means to be a partner to our suppliers and customers.
To provide a red meat experience that people love, we deliver on two fundamental commitments: partnership and stewardship.
Our Goal is to deliver the most consistent and dependable red meat experience in the industry
- We were the first major beef supplier to implement an automated camera assessment system in all US facilities to supplement government grading methods.
- We are proud to be the only beef packer approved for USDA Certified Tender and USDA Certified Very Tender products. This means we’re doing something right. We continue to invest in the latest technology and test up to 1,000 samples weekly to guarantee tenderness, consistency and quality.
- Cargill owns and operates four feedlots in our system. This ownership gives Cargill ability to:
- Deliver reliable, top-quality supply for our facilities.
- Practice the Optimum Harvest Endpoint System to determine peak animal maturity on an individual basis.
- Be more flexible in response to supply and demand.
In addition, we’ve developed strategic partnerships, like ours with Friona Industries, to expand our pool of dedicated, premium cattle.
- In food, timing is everything. The journey from our butchers to customers’ countertops should not be far. That’s why Cargill has plants strategically located within a day’s drive to more than 200 million consumers throughout the U.S.
- We’ve partnered with MMT Genomics, Inc., to develop technology that uses an animal’s genetics to determine its potential. This process identifies the animal’s most favorable traits (including marbling, tenderness, retail yield and average daily gain) and categorizes them.
We’re investing in understanding today’s red meat consumer and translating that specifically to the needs of your shoppers
- We love red meat and we’re committed to growing the red meat market with research driven strategies. We leverage our category insights and knowledge to pinpoint the ideal product mix, placement, promotion and pricing to help customers grow their business and promote consumer loyalty. We customize our approach and offer tailored solutions for challenges.
- Our team at the Cargill Innovation Center is continuously exploring new information and insights that we share with customer partners.
- We practice transparency through our value-based procurement process powered by state-of-the art technology and real-time data. Extensive supplier feedback further ensures consistency and maintains trust.
Applying new insights to deliver new products, packaging & solutions
- Consumer lives, needs and tastes are ever-changing. Cargill continues to invest in qualitative and quantitative research to determine consumers’ appetites. This guides the introduction of new products and packaging innovations to help our customers succeed.
- A great supply chain means everything. And we strive to make our supply chain the best. With Cargill’s focus on process improvement, we can make necessary improvements to align our operations, transportation, scheduling and sales teams to seamlessly work together. This means better support for our customers.
- We’re dedicated to helping our customers evolve with changing consumer tastes. To make that happen, our team of over 20 leading experts are dedicated to the Beef Research and Development team at the Cargill Innovation Center. The culinary teams are led by chefs who are protein experts at all cooking levels– home, restaurant and food processing, offering ideas and creating tasty, profitable retail products and restaurant menu items for our customers.
Today's consumers want to know more about where their food comes from. And they demand this from food manufacturers. That's why we believe in transparency. Being honest and open allows us not only to showcase our products, but to communicate our values and sense of responsibility.
Cargill is committed to reduced use of antibiotics medically important to human health that are also used in beef production.
We are taking actions in the best interest of our customers, consumers and long term effectiveness of medicines, while producing meat that is wholesome, affordable and nutritious, and minimizes the impact to the environment. Maintaining the effectiveness of medicines that help protect human health is one of our top priorities. When we use antibiotics, we do so judiciously and responsibly, in accordance with regulatory requirements. We engage in dialogue with key stakeholders including consumers and customers, listen to different points of view and share information about actions we take to address this topic.
Cargill Beef Commitment to Principles of Antibiotic Use with Cattle:
- Maintain animal health and wellbeing
- Raise healthy animals to better ensure production of safer food
- Enhance our transparency about antibiotic use and practices with beef cattle
- 100% regulatory compliance
Cargill Beef understands that people are seeking more information about antibiotic use in beef production and they also want to know about the actions we are taking to better ensure the ongoing effectiveness of antibiotics medically important to human health. As a leader on this topic, Cargill Beef is taking the following actions to earn customer confidence relative to antibiotic use:
- Reduced Use: Cargill is reducing the use of antibiotics that are medically important to human health by approximately 20% and does not use medically important growth promoting antibiotics in the cattle we own (Cargill Cattle Feeders) and our partnership cattle. We are encouraging other cattle feeders to evaluate their antibiotics usage.
- Certified Training: The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) stewards Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification program that trains cattle producers in best practices, including optimal antibiotic usage. Our goal is to have 90% of our supply from feed yards that are BQA certified sources by 2018.
- Innovate: Cargill Beef is partnering with cattle producers, researchers,universities, and allied partners to identify production practices and viable alternatives that could result in reduced use of medicines in animal production. A key partner is Cargill Animal Nutrition, a leader in the development of feed ingredients and feed formulations.
- Listen & Learn: We engage customers and skeptics to better understand their expectations for Cargill regarding antibiotic use and how Cargill Beef can responsibly meet those expectations. We will have an open door and will engage with a variety of stakeholders, including skeptics.
Click below to view our webinar outlining our antibiotic position.
We are a leader in food safety and we share our knowledge with the industry
- Our commitment to food safety is more than just a promise. Over the past 12 years, we’ve invested more than $1 billion in food safety technology for our North American protein businesses. And we continue to explore new technologies to reduce any foodborne illness-causing bacteria that could pose human health risks.
- Ensuring food is at its safest is a round-the-clock job. We use Helix, an integrated, real-time reporting system, to continuously monitor meat processing at our plants. With this technology, we can be certain of procedural adherence specific to our food safety programs, product quality and specifications, and overall performance.
- Cargill was a leader in the development of two key food safety tools: the hide-on-carcass wash and thermal pasteurization. Both are now widely adopted across the industry.
- We pride ourselves in being a leader in food safety. We’ve embraced Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) in our facilities prior to its mandate. The HACCP model has been adopted industry-wide as a USDA standard for identifying important points in each processing plant’s food safety program. HACCP encompasses a variety of the tools we employ at our federally inspected processing plants to ensure fresh meat products are as safe as possible when they leave the facility.
It’s our responsibility to ensure the most humane and healthiest practices as we care for our animals
- As the cornerstone of our commitment to animal stewardship, we take great pride in our animal welfare practices.
- Our livestock handling procedures were designed in consultation with Dr. Temple Grandin, a world renowned and highly respected animal welfare expert, to help minimize animal stress.
- We strictly adhere to North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) animal handling standards in addition to annual third party animal welfare audits.
- We pioneered in the use of third party remote video auditing (RVA) for animal welfare purposes at all of the company’s beef plants.
- We employ a zero tolerance policy on animal abuse and have created processes that minimize animal stress. Our team holds more certified personnel than any other North American beef processor, with 30-plus Professional Animal Auditor Certification Organization (PAACO)-certified auditors and more than 200 participants at the NAMI Animal Care and Handling Conference on staff. Animals are the reason we’re here. We promise to respect them in every way possible.
- For us, animal stewardship goes beyond our standards at Cargill. We’re making efforts to raise guidelines across the industry. We are a proud co-founder of the Food Animal Welfare Network for Beef, a group made up of world-renowned experts in animal well-being. This commission was created to advocate for increased research funding for animal well-being, facilitate the communication of research results in a more timely manner, advance best management practices in cattle health and welfare, and serve as an unbiased, science and production-based group to address concerns about animal well-being
- We continue to strive for more. It is our goal that by 2018, 90% of our U.S. beef cattle supply from feed yards will come from Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certified sources. This certification, granted by The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), trains cattle producers in animal handling best practices, including optimal antibiotic usage.
We work hard to contribute to the strength of the communities we operate in
- Together is how we thrive. Each year our employee-led Cargill Cares Councils contribute millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to local nonprofit and charitable organizations.
- We put the same love and care into where we live as we do into the products we make. Our leaders are expected to hold positions to help enrich our communities, serving on councils and boards to support education, charities and nonprofits, along with local civic organizations.
We believe in providing opportunities for growth, maintaining a safe workplace and challenging our employees to bring their best ideas
- Our employee-driven safety programs are among the best in the industry and help us to achieve great milestones – like eight-million-plus worker hours of operation without a lost time injury at our Friona, Texas facility. The valuable input we get from our employees, whether it’s their physical labor or their thinking is what makes us successful.
- In business, relationships are everything. Our relationships with our customers and with our employees make it all possible. In a 2015 engagement study, employees said they see Cargill as a pillar in their communities with 89 percent stating that they believed Cargill is a responsible company in the community, and 90 percent recognizing Cargill for conducting business in an ethical way.
We strive to find solutions that go beyond sustainability, we add nourishment back into the world
- As we continue to reduce solid waste and our reliance on fossil fuel, we’re significantly improving water and energy efficiency. For example, a waste-to-energy project at our High River, Alberta facility allows the plant, along with biogas, to generate up to 49 percent of the energy it uses for production. This waste-to-energy collaboration is the first of its type in North America and the largest single waste-to-energy project Cargill has undertaken on the continent.
- Our award-winning water conservation efforts at our Friona, Texas beef processing plant have reduced water use by 19 percent over the past six years, saving more than 125 million gallons when comparing 2008 water usage to 2014. Treated water from the plant is provided to local farmers for crop production, reducing their need for water from an underground aquifer. The plant team has created methods for capturing water used in heat exchangers and other equipment that can be reused for exterior plant cleaning.
- Sustainability is key in helping conserve natural resources. That’s why Cargill Cattle Feeders has partnered with KCoe-ISOM to create a verified beef supply chain sustainability assessment program for approximately 1.2 million beef cattle annually.
- As a founding member of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, Cargill has played an active role in the launching of the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. We maintain an Environmental Management System based upon the requirements of ISO 14001 at all beef and cattle feeder locations.
- It’s important to us that every Cargill employee helps protect the environment. Employees at our Hazleton, Pennsylvania facility are doing their part to reduce waste. While some materials were already being recycled, facility employees began a stepped up recycling effort in mid-2013. The facility went from generating an average of 100 tons of trash each month in 2013 to generating ZERO tons of trash since July of 2014. In early 2015, this case-ready meat facility was verified landfill free by Ann Arbor, Michigan-based NSF International.
- At all of our large harvesting facilities, we capture methane gas created by bacterial breakdown of organic materials in our water treatment ponds. The methane is used as a fuel source to heat boilers containing water to produce steam for plant sanitation. This technology allows us to capture methane gas that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere if not captured in our anaerobic lagoons while reducing the need for natural gas in the facility by about 25 percent.