News | October 5, 2023

New Data Highlight Continuous Improvement, Sustainability Across Meat Sector

In the second year of the meat sector’s pioneering data collection and reporting on five key focus areas for continuous improvement, the number of companies submitting data grew by nearly 60% and now covering more than half of all establishments operated by Meat Institute members.

With 93% of the Meat Institute’s largest member companies (more than 2000 employees) submitting data, the report reflects commitments and actions covering an estimated 90% of meat sold in the United States. The Meat Institute's metrics and goals align closely with on-farm efforts in beef, pork, poultry and feed to drive supply chain-wide sustainability.

Among the Meat Institute’s five focus areas for continuous improvement, one key target is the Meat Institute’s aim for 100% of members to have set a science-based emissions reduction target by 2030. To date, 14 Meat Institute general members representing the majority of meat sold in the United States, plus 10 supplier/allied members, have set or publicly committed to set targets verified by the Science-Based Targets Initiative.

Of establishments reporting data, 66% are covered by a company commitment to set scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction goals; 62% are covered by a company commitment to set scope 3 emissions reduction goals. In September, the Meat Institute and the UN Global Compact Network USA jointly released a practical tool to help meat companies conduct emissions surveys, the first critical step in the path to setting science-based targets.

Aiding another key target to help families facing hunger access enough high-quality protein, Meat Institute members donate tens of millions of dollars and meals to food banks and charities across the country every year. The majority of companies reporting data contributed to food banks and charities in 2022.

Examples of food security actions in this reporting period include:

  • Bob Evans Farms announced a four-year partnership with Mid-Ohio Food Bank to donate more than $1M in cash and food contributions.
  • Hormel Foods and Tyson Foods partnered to support communities affected by the Maui wildfires, with Hormel donating more than 264,000 cans of SPAM and Tyson donating more than 100,000 lbs of protein.
  • Smithfield Foods donated 28,000 lbs of protein to Florida communities devastated by Hurricane Idalia.
  • Swaggertys has donated nearly 35,000 lbs of frozen sausage to local food banks and charity organizations so far in 2023.

The Meat Institute’s full 2023 continuous improvement report is available here (

Source: The North American Meat Institute