Taco Bell wants to make its beef more sustainable

The taco chain is teaming up with Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to support ranchers' regenerative farming efforts.
three tacos and a drink from Taco Bell.
Taco Bell's parent company wants to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% by 2030. / Photo: Shutterstock

Taco Bell prioritizes sustainability as much as craveability, according to Missy Schaaphok, director of global nutrition and sustainability at the chain.

And to that end, the brand looking to spearhead changes in the supply chain. 

Taco Bell is teaming up with its supplier Cargill and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) on an initiative to conserve natural resources and reduce the climate impact of the food the brand serves, according to a press release.

The collaboration will support beef producers with technical and financial tools to expand their regenerative ranching practices. Some of the practices included could be conserving grassland ecosystems and improving water quality and biodiversity. Together, Cargill and Taco Bell will allocate $2 million and leverage up to $2 million in federal funds for this project over the next four years.

"We're all about democratizing access to quality, flavorful meals at an affordable price," said Schaaphok in the press release.

The partnership is estimated to conserve and restore tens of thousands of acres and benefit the inhabiting wildlife. In addition, Taco Bell said the efforts are expected to cut up to 44,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year as of 2030. 

The chain is seeking organizations that support ranchers in implementing regenerative agriculture practices across the Intermountain West. Organizations can submit applications from May 4 until Aug. 3.

“Taco Bell, in partnership with Cargill, will help organizations working directly with ranchers in the Intermountain West to implement important changes, providing better habitat for wildlife, increasing carbon sequestration, and creating a more resilient ecosystem for people and for the species that depend on these rangelands for their very survival,” said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF, in a statement.

This collaboration supports a commitment of Taco Bell’s parent company, Yum Brands, to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 50% by 2030.

Many of Yum Brands' recent sustainability efforts have focused on packaging. The company, which also owns KFC, Pizza Hut and The Habit Burger Grill, recently established a new policy with the aim of reimagining some of its restaurants' classic packaging.

In addition, Taco Bell last expanded its sauce packet recycling program to accept used sauce packets from any brand, not just its own.  

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