Vegan meat is the future of food and now one of America’s biggest meat producer’s CEO believes that this is the case, too. Tom Hayes spoke to Feedstuffs, revealing his views on the animal-free alternatives.
While almost Tyson’s entire turnover comes from meat production, the company has made investments in alternative sources of protein, including Beyond Meat. Since Hayes joined the company, he has also created two new jobs that didn’t exist in the company previously: chief sustainability officer and chief technology officer.
As part of the new sustainability pledge, Tyson would remove antibiotics from chicken products in 2017, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030, practice sustainable land management for animal feed, improve employee welfare and improve animal welfare.
Other alternative-meat producers that Tyson have invested in include Future Meat Technologies, who use a cell culturing process to produce meat, rather than the conventional method of slaughtering animals; Tyson have also invested in Memphis Meats Inc. who produce meat in the same method.
Although the investments prove that the future is plant-based, and producers are acknowledging this, Beyond Meat faced backlash for signing with Tyson. Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat CEO, said: “We got attacked when we signed a deal with Tyson. People said I personally have blood on my hands. Tyson took a big risk, too. I mean Hayes didn’t get any love letters when he backed us.
“But I’d much rather try to get things done than throw stones, and the people at Tyson know how to move the needle.”
Hayes set up the sustainable technology investment fund, with $150 million to invest in projects. Tyson are also set to launch their Green Street vegetarian brand in 2019, confirming their dedication to investing in plant-based alternatives.