Beef Buzz News
KSU’S Glynn Tonsor Explains Importance Of Consumers Across the Beef Industry In Senate Agriculture Committee Hearing
Thu, 08 Jul 2021 09:25:11 CDT
Two producers, two market economists, and one social engineer appeared before the Senate Agriculture Committee in the latter days of June to discuss cattle market transparency and current market happenings.
One of those present to testify was Kansas State University agricultural economics professor, Glynn Tonsor, who talked about the need for more cattle market transparency and more cash cattle trade.
Tonsor said you do not want to lose the opportunity to differentiate your product or produce a high-quality beef product the consumer wants and is willing to pay for.
“You can generalize this as not just arrangements specific to alternative marketing agreements, but more generally as lots of our society has thrived by evolving over time and having economic signals in the form of markets that gets someone to produce something differently or more efficiently than was done in the past,” Tonsor said. “This certainly holds to beef.”
Tonsor said we have many more types of beef items being sold through the export, domestic and retail market channels where the ask behind the products is different than previous times.
“It’s hard to meet those growing demands, and most of those demands are opportunities,” Tonsor said. “They align with protein demand growth, which is good, but sometimes they require doing something a little differently than we did 20 years ago.”
He mentioned cattle may be raised the same, but information must be conveyed with that. Or, methods must be changed or demands met to meet the specifics.
That is more difficult to in a spot-negotiated arena, Tonsor said. We need to recognize a lot of the demand growth has happened that does not align well with traditional, live negotiated activity, he added.
Therein lies the core rub in the industry, he said.
“Much of the economic opportunity has pivoted away from that, yet a lot of pricing to date has relied on spot negotiation,” Tonsor said. “My job was to remind us part of why that evolution has happened and to be careful not to lose too much of the economic gain that has occurred with that in all the different proposals that are afoot.”
During the hearing, Dr. Tonsor made a statement to the committee that said all revenue available to industry participants ultimately originates with consumers.
Hence, aligning industry efforts with consumer demand is truly essential, he said.
Tonsor claimed the U.S. beef cattle industry is the envy of many others for several reasons. One specific being that we are a global leader in the production of high-quality, grain-finished beef desired by consumers around the world, he added.
Simply put, Tonsor says we have to pay attention to consumers, for they are a critical component to the beef industry.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Glynn Tonsor.
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