Dakota Dunes, S.D. -- Tyson Foods Inc. and Certified Angus Beef LLC are teaming up to provide Certified Angus Beef(R)-brand Natural beef, the two organizations announced today. Tyson also will soon begin offering Star Ranch Natural Angus Beef.

"The CAB brand and Star Ranch Angus Beef have been very successful programs for Tyson, and we're excited to add 'natural' product lines to both," said Noel White, group vice president of Tyson Fresh Meats. "Consumer demand for natural beef is increasing, and we believe there's an opportunity for us to grow with it. While we have every confidence in our traditional beef products, we also believe in giving our customers a choice."

According to Cattle Buyers Weekly, the "natural" beef segment is an almost $1 billion niche of the U.S. beef industry and continues to grow.

The beef products will come from cattle that have never received antibiotics or hormones and have been given a 100-percent grass and grain diet. They will be black Angus, source verified to birth and fed in "natural" designated feed yards.

The Beef Marketing Group, a cooperative of Kansas and Nebraska feed yards, is the first cattle feeding organization to participate in the initiative.

"We believe our efforts to source naturally raised cattle and following proper animal handling and feeding protocols will provide consumers with another high quality protein choice," White said. "In fact, we believe this program will raise the standard for performance in the production and marketing of fresh, natural beef."

For nearly 30 years, the CAB brand has been the benchmark for high quality beef. Only 8 percent of beef meets the CAB brand's high standards for flavor, juiciness and tenderness. Tyson Fresh Meats, formerly known as IBP Inc., became a licensed CAB packer in 1992. It is the leading supplier of CAB products to the foodservice and retail industries in the United States and throughout the world. After 14 years of this successful partnership, it was a natural progression for the two companies to jointly enter the natural-beef marketplace.

"The joint commitment by BMG, Tyson and CAB to produce CAB brand Natural raises the bar for production standards and product quality for all natural beef brands," says Jim Riemann, CAB president. "This joint effort gives consumers a choice that will exceed their expectations for natural beef products."

Tyson-supplied CAB brand Natural and Star Ranch Natural products will be available to retail and foodservice customers on a limited basis beginning in February. The products are expected to complement the traditional offering in the retail meat case and also meet the demands of the natural foods retailer.

Tyson Foods Inc., founded in 1935 and with headquarters in Springdale, Ark., is the world's largest processor and marketer of chicken, beef, and pork and the second-largest food company in the Fortune 500. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based and prepared food products. Tyson is a recognized market leader in the retail and foodservice markets it serves, providing products and service to customers throughout the United States and more than 80 countries. The company has approximately 114,000 team members employed at more than 300 facilities and offices in the United States and around the world.

SOURCE: Tyson Foods Inc.