As the largest beef processor in Canada, and a link between beef producers and the retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice providers who deliver food to people, we understand the important role we can play in addressing the growing consumer desire to feel good about where beef comes from and how cattle were raised. We recognize that through collaboration with companies and organizations that share that share the same deep commitment and purpose to nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way, we can not only help build confidence in the beef industry, but also further progress the sustainability leadership of farmers, ranchers and the North American beef supply chain. We believe agriculture can solve some of the toughest sustainability challenges and understand the need to find solutions that balance feeding a growing population with protecting our planet.
Cargill's purpose is to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Every day, we connect farmers with markets, customers with ingredients and people and animals with the food they need to thrive. We combine more than 150 years of experience with new technologies and insights to serve as a trusted partner for food, agriculture, financial and industrial customers in more than 125 countries. In 1979, Cargill acquired Excel Corporation, marking its entry into the North American beef industry, while inheriting the Midwest beef company's deep experience and history. Today, Cargill is the largest supplier of ground beef in the world, and second-largest fed beef processor in North America.
At Cargill, sustainability is core to helping us deliver on our purpose and serve as a trusted supplier to companies around the world. Because of our global scale and diverse offerings, we are uniquely positioned to connect people, to make a positive impact on the planet through the products and services we provide. By understanding the complex issues that impact people and the planet, we can take meaningful action to create innovations that drive sustainability in the supply chains that contribute to our products.
We understand that on our own, we are limited, but together, with producers, industry, academia, NGOs, and customers, we can transform the world.
Why we became Certified Sustainable
Cargill is taking a leadership role in implementing the Certified Sustainable Beef Framework that has been developed by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. By becoming certified and implementing the CSB framework in our supply chain, we are enabling our customers to making consumer facing claims about sourcing certified sustainable beef. With this effort, we aim to drive long-term value for the entire beef value chain by building consumer trust in Canadian beef.
The Canadian beef supply chain offers a unique opportunity to be a part of groundbreaking efforts to set a sustainability standard and example globally, providing that transparency and traceability consumers want in a way that’s good for the environment, animals, community and business. This certification is an initial step and opportunity for us to learn about what technologies, partnerships and considerations we must understand on the journey to a more sustainable future.
Our Sustainable Practices
Every day, we aim to uphold and demonstrate best practices in sustainability within our operations, within the communities where we operate, and across our supply chains in partnership with industry stakeholders. The joint effort across supply chain stakeholders to advance the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration (CBSA) pilot, in alignment with the standards of CRSB, is one example of the powerful impact and influence collaboration can have on progressing the Canadian beef supply chain.
Additionally, Cargill continues to accelerate, innovate and progress sustainability across a multitude of areas:
- Cargill launched BeefUp Sustainability, an initiative aimed to engage farmers, ranchers, innovators and customers to achieve a 30% intensity reduction (measured on a per pound of product basis) by 2030 across the North American beef supply chain, which equates to removing 2 million cars from US highways for a year.
- At Cargill’s High River, AB. beef processing plant, a fluidized bed boiler turns organic waste into energy, eliminating thousands of metric tons of fossil fuel emissions each year. In 2016, approximately half of the facility’s energy came from renewable sources of energy.
- Cargill’s cattle processing facilities reduce the need for natural gas by 25% through methane gas capture.
- Cargill works with animal welfare experts, including internationally-renowned Dr. Temple Grandin.
- At all of our beef processing facilities, Cargill pioneered remote video auditing, where animals are monitored by a third-party 24/7.
- Cargill is one of only 17 companies in the world to have received a Tier 1 or Tier 2 ranking by the Business Benchmark for Farm Animal Welfare.
- Cargill partnered with Ducks Unlimited Canada to develop conservation programs that create a healthier environment for waterfowl within the Frank Lake Conservation Area. Together, Cargill and Ducks Unlimited created an integrated wastewater treatment program where treated wastewater from the High River facility feeds into nearby Frank Lake, which struggled for more than 50 years with fluctuating water levels, transforming the area into an important wetlands habitat for local wildlife.
Food & Nutrition Security
- Cargill’s beef processing facilities in Canada are committed to nourishing the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. Each year, our facilities donate ~$270,000 in product to local foodbanks.
- Our facility in Spruce Grove has raised over $420,000 in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities in Western Canada since 2011.