Walmart to Create Own Angus Beef Supply Chain

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. venture into / ˈvɛn tʃər ɪn tʊ / (phrasal) – to become part of a new business plan or activity

    The retail company is venturing into the restaurant industry as part of its new business strategy.

  2. reputable / ˈrɛp yə tə bəl / (adj) – respected by many people

    The reputable company has millions of customers around the world.

  3. put (someone’s) mind at ease / pʊt maɪnd ət iz / (idiom) – to cause someone to stop worrying about something

    The CEO released a statement about the state of the company to put the employees’ minds at ease.

  4. middleman / ˈmɪd lˌmæn / (n) – a person who buys things from producers and sells them to retailers or consumers

    The rice vendor acts as a middleman between the farmers and the restaurants in Los Angeles.

  5. consistently / kənˈsɪs tənt li / (adv) – in a way that does not change for a long period of time

    The restaurant has good reviews because its food is consistently excellent.


Read the text below.

Retail giant Walmart has ventured into the meat industry in an effort to supply its grocery stores with quality Angus beef.

Walmart has developed a supply chain that can deliver prime Angus beef to its customers. The supply chain involves a reputable pool of feedlot, slaughterhouse, and packaging factory. With this, Walmart promises to deliver hormone-free Angus beef. Growth hormones, which facilitate weight gain in cattle, are deemed potentially dangerous.

Walmart’s Angus beef products will come in steak and roast cuts, and they will be sold in about 500 southeastern Walmart branches in the United States.

This business venture is Walmart’s response to customers who are demanding to know where its products come from. The company believes that creating its own supply chain of Angus beef will put its customers’ minds at ease about product quality.

Nonetheless, because of the high demand for beef, Walmart said that it will still obtain some Angus beef products from its existing middlemen. This will ensure that Walmart has a steady supply of Angus beef and will allow the company to consistently deliver quality products.

According to an analyst, there is a rising trend among businesses in which a company takes on the role of other producers or manufacturers in its supply chain. In fact, Walmart’s Angus beef supply chain is not the first time that Walmart cut out its middleman. Last year, the company opened a dairy processing plant in Indiana to produce its own private-labeled milk.

In spite of the trend, some experts believe that this kind of venture is risky and that Walmart might struggle to keep up with demands.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think Walmart’s move to create its own beef supply chain is a good business strategy? Why or why not?
• Do you think the trend of companies taking on the roles of the members in their supply chain will continue? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why do you think some people demand transparency in the production of the things they buy? Discuss.
• Do you think consumers wanting to know the origin of the things they buy will be a trend? Why or why not?