Schweid & Sons claims Tyson Foods' Brazen Climate Friendly Ground Beef Burger is the first beef to receive USDA approval for climate-friendly beef. The Brazen line, which includes the Signature Blend made from Brazen climate-friendly chuck and brisket, while not certified organic, is all-natural and minimally processed from grass-fed cows and part of the Animal Welfare CARE program.
Of the strategy to focus on ground beef, Jamie Schweid, president and CEO, Schweid & Sons explained in the press release, “What we know is that ground beef consumption has been on the rise, and based on 2022 figures from Nielsen IQ, it is the most popular form of beef purchased by consumers.”
According to data from Iowa State University, in 2020, the average American consumed over 27 pounds of ground beef, which accounted for more than 46% of all retail beef consumed in the US, highlighting the opportunity for companies to align with consumers’ taste preferences, while acknowledging the growing awareness for environmentally responsible meat production.
As consumer concern for sustainable food production grows, they are looking for brands that align with their values for climate conscious processes and methods. Given the resource-intensive process of producing agricultural meat, Brazen Brands “reflects a cooperative effort to bring consumers a great tasting burger that also satisfies our commitment to the environment and the future of the planet we all share,” stated the Schweid & Sons’ press release.
The distributor plans to collaborate with the Brazen brand on additional meat cuts in the future, stating that it intends to “continue our partnership with Tyson and Brazen Brand as we expand our ground beef offerings to address consumers’ growing demands for other case-ready formats,” Schweid explained to FoodNavigator-USA in an email interview.
‘This is just the beginning of our climate-smart beef journey’
To build its Climate-Smart Beef Program, Tyson Foods worked with “third-party researchers to help us develop a greenhouse gas accounting methodology for our climate-smart beef value chain…and working to educate producers about the Climate-Smart Beef Program and encourage enrollment,” Chad Martin, vice president of cattle procurement, Tyson Foods explained to FoodNavigator-USA in an email interview.
Thus, the Climate-Smart Beef Program framework “models greenhouse gas emissions for cattle from pasture to production, focusing on emission sources from feed cultivation and processing, cow/calf ranches, stocker operations, and feedlots. To model these emissions, data – for example, farm management data and operational information – is collected and verified through third-party auditors such as Where Food Comes From, Inc.,” Martin continued.
Tyson’s pasture to production processes includes no-till or reduced tillage, cover crop planting, nutrient management, pasture rotation, rangeland and tree management, native range planting, manure management and plant-based fiber packaging.
“This is just the beginning of our climate-smart beef journey. We find that most of the ranchers we speak with have already taken steps to align with some of the components of the Climate Smart Beef Program, because they are best practice for their own operations,” Martin wrote.