(Bloomberg) — Tyson Foods Inc. is taking on the backlash facing the meat industry with a move to advance the world of sustainable protein.
Tyson, the biggest U.S. meat company, will pull together industry leaders, academia, NGOs and financial firms this week at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, as it launches a new coalition designed to find sustainable solutions to producing protein. It’s the latest move by a meat giant to help scrub the industry’s image as a greenhouse-gas-emitting machine.
From high-profile moves like the Golden Globes going vegan, to the hype surrounding alternative proteins such as Beyond Meat Inc.’s burger, the zeitgeist is moving toward less meat consumption. But traditional animal-meat producers are now looking to take the initiative in sustainability after largely being the punching bags of those sounding alarm bells over the industry’s environmental impact.
By some measures, agriculture accounts for more global greenhouse gas emissions than transport, thanks in part to livestock production. To clean up its act, giants like Tyson and Cargill Inc. are promising ambitious reductions in emissions, including in supply chains. Chief sustainability officers are popping up all over meat C-suites, and social media ads are touting beef’s misunderstood health benefits.
Notably, Tyson said it would include leaders from companies of “all forms of protein” for its coalition, meaning that purveyors of plant-based alternatives could be in the mix.
“We want to help ensure the responsible production of affordable, nutritious food for generations to come,” Tyson CEO Noel White said in a statement. “We’re introducing this coalition because we know that we cannot achieve this alone.”
–With assistance from Megan Durisin.
To contact the reporter on this story: Laura Yin in Seattle at [email protected]
To contact the editors responsible for this story: James Attwood at [email protected], Millie Munshi, Catherine Traywick
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