Although we have seen the industry transform with healthier and more sustainable food options, there is still a long way to go.
Tyson Foods CEO Tom Hayes appeared on “Mad Money” where he discussed the problems he sees in the industry and what the major food producers have to do to combat them.
“Here's the issue: If we're going to feed nine and a half billion people around the world by 2050, we have to be part of the solution. Big food has to get in the ballgame," said Hayes on “Mad Money.”
Hayes, who was appointed as CEO of Tyson in June 2016, thinks that big companies set the example for the rest of the industry.
"These problems are not going to be solved by backyard farms. So we're taking it on. We have to be a part of the game, not only be a part of it, we want to lead it," said Hayes.
Not to mention, the big producers have the greatest impact, and therefore, Hayes has lofty goals for the company.
"Our strategic intent is to be the world's best, most sustainable protein supplier, bar none. And it's because of that fact. More than 50 percent of all consumers in the U.S. are actively trying to add protein to their diets," said Hayes. "So it is not a fad. It is something that is part of the health regimen for so many Americans and people around the world, so absolutely, that is our square focus."
Tyson is the largest chicken producer in the country and recently eliminated all use of antibiotics in their chicken products.
This move wasn’t only made to improve the industry standards, but also to compete in today’s market.
We are seeing a more health-conscious consumer who is gravitating to more organic and innovative alternative protein products. Tyson has to compete with that and that means making a change.
Not to mention plant-based dishes are gaining traction in the market. The Culinary Institute of America and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health are on a mission with their “Menus of Change” campaign (introduced last year) to make plant-based proteins more of a focal point on restaurant menus.
“Scientific research suggests that the most effective way to help diners make healthy, sustainable food choices is to shift our collective diets to mostly plant-based foods. Growing plants for food generally has less of a negative impact on the environment than raising livestock, as livestock have to eat lots of plants to produce a smaller amount of food. In fact, no other single decision in the professional kitchen—or in the boardrooms of foodservice companies—can compare in terms of the benefits of advancing global environmental sustainability,” according to Menus of Change.
Watch the full interview at CNBC now.