Kroger CEO: I am not buying any more cattle
Kroger said Friday that it has purchased nearly 5 million acres of beef, pork and lamb from a U.S. feedlot that it acquired in January.
The move is the first step toward a more sustainable future for Kroger, which has seen a recent uptick in sales of beef and pork from its feedlot.
“This is an investment that’s going to make Kroger an even better place to do business and a better place for our customers,” Kroger Chief Executive Robert Samuels said.
“We’re excited to have the opportunity to use the vast amount of resources at our feedlot to build a new and better future for our consumers.”
Kroger will buy the feedlot from American Cattlemen and Beef for about $5.2 billion, according to Bloomberg.
The purchase comes as Kroger is expanding its operations in the Midwest and Northeast to meet a growing demand for its products, including beef and lamb.
The company also plans to add more feedlot capacity in the next few years.
The acquisition will create a “super-sized, super-green, super efficient, super sustainable and super secure” Kroger and will be one of the first companies in the industry to buy feedlot land, said Joe Tumlinson, Kroger’s executive vice president for global corporate strategy.
“It’s the largest purchase of feedlot and grassland in U.s. history,” TumLinson said in a statement.
“Kroger is committed to a future of higher quality and healthier, more environmentally responsible livestock production.”
The purchase also comes amid a growing backlash against meat in the U.K. as the country grapples with rising levels of obesity, and an intensifying climate change push that is pushing farmers to find more ways to farm.
Kroger shares fell 7% to $68.79 in afternoon trading Friday, with the price tag expected to fall even further after the news broke.