2018 Sustainability Report

Progressive Beef

A new quality management system for cattle feeding operations is setting a standard of excellence for Tyson and the entire industry.

A Better Way To Raise Cattle

More than ever, consumers are demanding to know more about the beef they purchase – where it comes from and how the cattle are raised. In 2018, we demonstrated our commitment to supply chain transparency by becoming the first beef processor to license the Progressive Beef™ program, a comprehensive quality management system designed for cattle feeding operations that sell to companies like Tyson Foods. We don’t own feedlots or ranches, but instead rely on more than 4,000 independent producers across the country to sell us high-quality cattle.

Progressive Beef covers all aspects of day-to-day cattle care. Cattle feeding operators certified in the program follow best practices for animal welfare, food safety, responsible antibiotic use and environmental sustainability. All of these practices are verified twice per year through USDA-approved auditors. Each audit is like a report card, and the metrics involved help ranchers improve their operations.

This progressive cattle management system heightens accountability and live animal transparency. We believe Progressive Beef is the gold standard for beef process control and food safety. It also takes into account animal care considerations, such as comfortable living conditions, nutritious food and clean water for them to thrive. Finally, it looks at sustainability benchmarks related to efficient use of natural resources and employee safety rates and responsible antibiotic use.

We have seen firsthand the benefits of bringing together verifiable best practices that are geared toward continuing improvement in long-term beef production. Licensing the program allows us to better collaborate with our supply chain and measure the progress we’re making in beef sustainability.

Together with Progressive Beef, we aspire to accelerate the entire beef industry toward embracing proven practices so that all consumers know the beef they buy is from cattle that were well cared for, in a safe and sustainable environment and verified through USDA-approved auditors. Our goal is to buy 2 million program cattle in the first year and to grow this to 50 percent of all the cattle we source after three years.

cows on the farm

Progressive Beef Pillars

Cattle Care

Food Safety


Tyler Weberg portrait
Setting A Higher Standard, Together

Partnering with Tyler Weborg

“My family’s relationship with Tyson goes back a long way,” says cattle farmer Tyler Weborg of Pender, Nebraska. “We’ve got a lot of friends and close business partnerships with people there. That means a lot to us.”

Those relationships have helped Weborg and his family stay on the leading edge of safe handling standards, training workers who are loading cattle on how to keep animals calm and free of stress and injury. Tyson has also educated farmers, including Weborg, about Progressive Beef, a new set of guidelines for cattle care, food safety and sustainability. “We became one of the first yards to use mobile devices to log cleaning of tanks and pens. It’s a nice thing for customers to be able to see.” Progressive Beef will help raise the bar across the industry in ensuring beef are well cared for, with verification by USDA-approved auditors. 

Adopting these practices is more about transparency and documentation than entirely new ways of working. “We wouldn’t be in this business if we didn’t love and care for these animals,” Weborg says. “That’s nothing new. With programs like Beef Quality Assurance and Progressive Beef, we now have a way to verify that we’re doing things right and that we're giving customers a product they can be proud to sell.”

progressive beef partners