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Tyson Foods, largest meat producer in U.S., invests in meatless future

The new head of Tyson Foods, the largest meat processor in the United States, said he sees a possible meatless future for the world’s 9 billion people.

Tyson CEO Tom Hayes, who took over the reins in December, said during an interview with Fox Business that he doesn’t believe that the increasing market for plant-based protein is a fad.

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“Protein consumption is growing around the world, and it continues to grow. It’s not just hot in the U.S., it’s hot everywhere,” Hayes said.

“People want protein, so whether it’s animal-based protein or plant-based protein, they have an appetite for it. Plant-based protein is growing almost, at this point, a little faster than animal-based, so I think the migration may continue in that direction.”

Tyson owns a 5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, a plant-based protein startup, according to Fox Business, and it has a $150 million fund to invest in meat substitute startups.

>> Got a question about the news? See our explainers here 

“We just got to the point last year where the consumer is demanding (an end to the use of antibiotics in the food chain) and wants transparency,” Hayes said.

“They want to have trust in the brands they buy …. (so) let’s push ourselves to go all the way.” 

Tyson also announced on its website it is ending the practice of using antibiotics in its food.

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