Why was BetterFedFoods formed?

Ask anyone involved in a cattle operation and they’ll tell you that the American agricultural system is broken. It’s common knowledge for everyone from the cow/calf producer to the processor, especially the independent ones that are not aligned with multinational corporations. The U.S. government also is aware.

Profitability data released by four of the biggest meat-processing companies – Tyson, JBS, Marfrig, and Seaboard (Othertop processors are private companies that don’t report publicly). Gross profits have collectively increased by more than 120% since before the pandemic, and their net income has surged by 500%. Source – WhiteHouse.gov

    “Four large meat-packing companies control 85 percent of the beef market. In poultry, the top four processing firms control 54 percent of the market. And in pork, the top four processing firms control about 70 percent of the market. When dominant middlemen control so much of the supply chain, they can increase their own profits at the expense of both farmers—who make less—and consumers—who pay more…even as farmers’ share of profits have dwindled, American consumers are paying more—with meat and poultry prices now the single largest contributor to the rising cost of food people consume at home.”

The U.S. government also sees the need to address the current system: “America’s farmers, ranchers, and forest owners are leading the way in implementing climate-smart solutions across their operations,” said Vilsack. “Through Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities, USDA will provide targeted funding to meet national and global demand and expand market opportunities for climate-smart commodities to increase the competitive advantage of American producers. We want a broad array of agriculture and forestry to see themselves in this effort, including small and historically underserved producers as well as early adopters.”  

Can Sustainability Affect Your Bottom Line?

Consumers have shifted focus from the value of the product on the shelf to values beyond the shelf. The new focus is called Conscious Consumerism, buying practice that prioritize products that are sustainably produced, ethically sourced, and come from brands committed to making a positive impact on the resources around them.  3 

  • 3 out of 5 shoppers identify as a conscious consumer
  • 4 out of 5 shoppers care about the sustainability of
    the products they buy 
  • 70% of shoppers are willing to pay a premium of up to
    35% for a sustainable product
  • 84% of consumers say that brand trust is important when
    choosing a sustainable product

    BFF has identified numerous challenges faced by independent farm producers including: 

    • Degradation of land and the cost of soil inputs
    • Challenges to animal performance and production and associated costs of care 
    • Consolidation of production and processing 
    • Systemic support and quality certification for Climate Smart Practices
    • Lack of producer access to consumers, and consumer understanding of producers 
    • Inequity in producer premiums

       The BetterFedFoods system will change the market, consolidate the value chain, and address critical climate challenges, including: 

      • Affordable costs of soil amendments and animal performance
      • Improvements in soil organic matter (SOM) and plant health
      • Reduction of GHG and improvement of carbon sequestration 
      • Improvements in animal performance and production
      • Generation of multiple climate-smart producer premiums 
      • Implementation of an efficient and traceable supply chain 
      • Engagement between consumers and producers 
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