Missouri — Walmart opened a 200,00 square-foot beef processing plant Friday that cost around $90 million. The processing plant in Thomasville, Georgia, will supply 500 walmart stores.
Walmart said it is partnering with 44 Farms, a Cameron Texas-based seed stock operation. The finished cattle will be slaughtered at Creekstone Farms, in Arkansas city, Kansas. Creekstone Farms also carry their own brand.
Tyson and Cargill are the two biggest suppliers to Walmart in this area. Not surprisingly, neither company had anything negative to say, although this move is sure to adversely affect their sales.
Creekstone said this will create around 250 jobs at their Kansas beef processing plant and another 200 jobs in Georgia, where they own a case-ready facility.
This move is in line with a succession of production moves, where big brick and mortar retailers are processing their own meat, and milk products. Costco is doing this with their rotisserie chickens. The have opened a huge Chicken processing plant so they can keep costs down and sell the chickens for $5.
Walmart already has a milk processing facility in Indiana. It is one of the largest in the U.S., producing white and chocolate milk for 600 Walmart stores.
Walmart released this statement: In order to answer our customer’s demands, we need visibility into every step in the supply chain. So, we’re working with best-in-class suppliers to create an end-to-end Angus beef supply chain. Bob McClaren of 44 Farms and Prime Pursuits is helping us source cattle raised on family farms and ranches. We are also working with Mc6 Cattle Feeders to feed them. Creekstone Farms will process the cattle at their facility, where more than 250 jobs will be created.
FPL Foods will operate our case ready packing facility.