Beyond amazing news about Beyond Meat

By on October 11, 2016 with 8 Comments

In what may be one of the most surprising investment announcements of any type — a man-bites-dog scenario in the business world — Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest meat companies, has now become a significant investor in Beyond Meat (The HSUS has made investments in the company, too). The plant-based-meat company recently launched the Beyond Burger, with the taste and texture of meat. Tyson’s investment in Beyond Meat has startled people within the food industry, and it’s been widely reported by Stephanie Strom of the New York Times and also the Wall Street Journal and the meat industry trade publication, Meatingplace.

As I wrote in The Humane Economy, the path to progress for animals involves companies or government embracing some aspect of animal welfare – either by getting their feet wet or, in other cases, upending their business model and embracing it in full. Rarely do we see companies involved with animal cruelty or suffering just go belly up. It’s usually an evolution, a sort of incremental change, with companies recognizing the emerging sensibilities on animal welfare and health and adapting to the new consumer atmosphere. To wit: Walmart announces it will seek to embrace the Five Freedoms of farm animal welfare; the Environmental Protection Agency embraces alternatives to animal testing and uses animal as a last resort; airlines agree to stop transporting animal trophies from the Africa Big Five (elephant, rhino, leopard, lion, and Cape buffalo).

Tyson’s move is certainly not the first of its kind. Pinnacle, which owns the meat-centric brand Hungry Man, purchased the plant-based brand Gardein. Kraft, owner of Oscar Mayer, has also been responsible for growing the Boca line of plant-based proteins. ConAgra Foods — once of the country’s largest meatpackers — bought and built the LightLife brand of veggie meats. General Mills is investing in plant-based proteins. But Tyson is a big protein brand, synonymous with the meat industry, and a company that you’d hardly put on your prospect list if you’re a plant-based protein company looking for a multi-million-dollar investor.

For those concerned that Tyson wants to claim a growing stake in Beyond Meat just to kill it off, I’m confident that the leaders of Beyond Meat would never allow that, nor is there any evidence at this point that Tyson has that objective. And with this new partnership, the leaders of Beyond Meat can leverage Tyson’s knowledge to distribute and market its new Beyond Burger and other plant-based proteins that look and taste like meat. That’s a material advance for animals, since fewer of them may be raised for slaughter. Consumers will be better off eating healthier foods, businesses will see brisk sales of a range of products, and more animals will be spared the torments of the feedlot or slaughter plant.

As I mentioned, The HSUS is also an investor in Beyond Meat. With long-time adversaries like Tyson and The HSUS both putting money into the same company, you know that there’s an interesting business model in operation. The best is yet to come in the new, emerging humane economy, and the latest case example is the rather startling investment by Tyson in Beyond Meat.

Categories
Farm Animals, Humane Economy

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8 Comments

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  1. Rose Davis says:

    I am shocked, thrilled and elated at this prospective change and trend. I never would believe that this would happen in my lifetime. I’m 81, and this gives me solice and hope for a future in which animals will not be bred to be slaughtered. Newborn calves will not be torn from their mothers to await slaughter. All animals, born into a life, will not face the terror of death. Thank you for creating this new way forward!

  2. Rose Davis says:

    I am shocked, thrilled and elated at this prospective change and trend. I never would believe that this would happen in my lifetime. I’m 81, and this gives me solace and hope for a future in which animals will not be bred to be slaughtered. Newborn calves will not be torn from their mothers side, to await death. All animals born, will not have to face the terror of death.

    Thank you for creating this new way forward!!!!!!

  3. Susana jennings says:

    This is the beginning , we must continue to fight for the welfare of these poor animals and to change our behavior on the way we eat, will improve our health.

  4. Michael Schwarz says:

    Tysons is one of the worst exploiters of animals on the planet. Chickens have no legal protection at all. Tysons shows little to no restraint in the way they abuse their animals. Essentially it’s is a giant chicken torturing operation. By taking an investment from Tysons, Beyond Meat is allowing one of the worst animal abusers to profit from their customers. So as a vegan, if I buy Beyond Meat, I am supporting animal abuse. Presumably Tysons is not doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They are doing it for profit. Also, their investment will give them a say in how the company is run – how they market, where they sell, what the strategy is for the company. So now an animal abuser is making strategy for an alternative meat company. You won’t be seeing any exposes of cruelty in the chicken industry from Beyond Meat. This is a very dark moment for animal rights.

  5. Penelope Bianchi says:

    I am thrilled and proud beyond! I am also older (69!) and it is a dream of mine just like the person before me….that these animals stop being treated in a cruel and inhumane manner to feed us. Calves and cows being torn apart makes my heart ache. I have seen the love and bonding between cows and calves, sheep and their babies, goats and their babies…..to name just a few. Mammals…..it is sickening how we treat animals in factory farms.

    Bravo to Tyson…..and I think the HSUS has had a great deal to do with it!

    It will also have incredible positive impacts to the health of our people! A plant based diet will eliminate so many diseases…..your head will spin!!

    Bravo HSUS!!!! Where can I buy??? I grew up eating chicken; I will be the first to buy this new product!!!

  6. Diana says:

    I agree with Michael Schwartz. This is bogus and anyone falling for this ruse ought to think about what is really going on here.
    I have not purchased any Tyson product in years and I will certainly not touch anything from Beyond Meat.
    They are sell outs and I am surprised and disappointed that the HSUS is applauding this deal.
    Oh, and what about taking a stand on the poisoning of our food supply with GMO’s?

  7. Katie Norton says:

    I completely agree with Michael- this is not a step in the right direction for animal rights. I love beyond meat but as a vegan I’m not sure I can buy their products anymore knowing that some of my money will be going towards the meat industry.

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