Being that Tyson is the world’s largest meat processor, you wouldn’t exactly expect the company to be thrilled about efforts to steer consumers away from animal meat and towards plant-based alternatives. And yet, believe it or not, Tyson CEO Tom Hayes is actually embracing the plant-based movement!
As Hayes reportedly stated in a recent interview with Bloomberg Businessweek, “I took this job to help revolutionize the global food system” and pledged “to raise the world’s expectations for the good we can do through food.”
While Tyson hasn’t quite done well for the planet in the past (the meat giant slaughters around 1.8 billion animals annually), we’re willing to give the company a second chance to show us that they are willing to use their huge market power to bring about a better future that includes a more equitable and humane food system.
So far, Tyson has made some solid strides toward transforming our broken global food system. For instance, last year the company invested in plant-based meat leader Beyond Meat, the innovative startup that created the first plant-based burger to be sold next to meat in the frozen section of the grocery store. Plus, Tyson has helped fund the research of Memphis Meats, Inc., a San Francisco-based company working to develop lab-grown beef, poultry, and fish.
More recently, Hayes announced his company’s intentions to transition from a producer of conventional meat to a producer of proteins, thus setting the stage for Tyson to become a major player in the plant-based movement.
Seeing as the trend of eating more plants and less meat due to health, environmental, and animal welfare concerns has been catching on at a rapid rate, it’s no wonder that Tyson wants to get in on the action. And considering the enormous amount of influence Tyson has, the company’s decision to expand its offerings into the plant-based realm will more than likely get even more consumers on board. As Hayes put it: “We’re so big that the industry can’t change if we don’t lead.”
While Hayes reportedly said that Tyson plans to stick to investing in meatless meat in the near future, he suggested that there is a good possibility that the company will begin producing alternative protein items themselves at some point. After all, he asked, “If we can grow the meat without the animal, why wouldn’t we?”
Hayes is absolutely right, and we’re ecstatic to see industry leaders like Tyson giving plant-based proteins the attention they deserve, especially considering these alternative proteins have the power to solve our current environmental crisis and provide more than enough food for our rapidly growing world population!
If you’d like to learn more about how plant-based eating can change the world for the better, check out the #EatForThePlanet book!
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