Cargill's New Labels Aim For Greater Transparency

Finely textured beef labels come with online resources and tracking to source

Published on: Feb 4, 2014

Just a few months after announcing it would label finely textured beef products, Cargill on Monday unveiled a variety of initiatives to help consumers understand what they are eating.

According to the company, consumer research conducted over the past year sparked the changes, which include more fact-based material online and a pre-printed QR code on packaging in addition to labeling efforts.

"Based on dialogue we had with consumers and retailers, Cargill designed these ground beef communications initiatives to provide information that enhances consumer awareness about ground beef products regarding how they are made and used," said John Keating, president of Cargill's Wichita-based beef business.

Finely textured beef labels come with online resources and consumer tools
Finely textured beef labels come with online resources and consumer tools

Cargill's ground beef information initiative includes:

• A website for consumers seeking information about ground beef, The site contains a recipe database and educational resources.

• Our Certified ground beef brand. Cargill has refreshed this ground beef brand with a new logo and design elements. Effective Jan. 20, 2014, in the United States, the packaging will include a QR code pointing to the newly created ground beef website. Consumers will be able to trace the ground beef they buy back to Cargill processing facility where it was produced. The packaging will also provide clearer labeling of the ground beef as being "gluten free," while also clearly identifying 93% lean ground beef products as "Lean Ground Beef."

Related: Cargill Announces New Labeling Policy for Finely Textured Beef

• Finely Textured Beef. Effective Jan. 20, 2014, all Cargill branded, U.S. produced 100% ground beef products containing Finely Textured Beef – both consumer and bulk, including Our Certified brand products – began rolling out to the marketplace carrying the declaration "Contains Finely Textured Beef" on the product box end labels. Additionally, Cargill's Our Certified brand ground beef chubs will include the printed declaration on retail packaging.