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Agricultural News

Food Safety and Product Quality Key Drivers of Demand for U.S. Beef

Fri, 18 Sep 2015 14:17:34 CDT

Food Safety and Product Quality Key Drivers of Demand for U.S. Beef

A new report by Kansas State University establishes priorities to increase demand for U.S. beef. The study was co-authored by Kansas State University Livestock Market Economist Glynn Tonsor and Center for Risk Management Director Ted Schroeder. They came up with five bottom-line opportunities and priorities for the cattle industry. Tonsor said it's important for the cattle industry to understand that all revenue that the cattle and beef industry realizes begins with consumer beef demand. This includes improving perceived food safety and product quality offered to today's consumer.

The last large beef demand determinate study by K-State found that food safety and product quality are the two beef demand determinates. Tonsor said these two factors impact demand and these are things the industry can influence. The beef industry knows that U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) matters to beef demand, because as income goes up, beef demand also increases, but that is not something the beef industry can influence. Rather, Tonsor said it's better to influence food safety or food quality, as it makes sense to prioritize those factors that are drivers of demand and they are things that can be influenced.   Additionally, he said helping consumers sort fact from fiction through visible information campaigns and being a leader in working with producers to bridge the gap are valuable initiatives that the beef industry needs to look at.

The study also looks at why beef demand has held up the last three or four years. In order for the industry to continue to maintain or build beef demand, Tonsor said it's going to be important to understand why the industry has seen this demand strength. Some possible reasons include identifying the segment of the population that was the least impacted by the recession and how this segment has maintained a heavy beef consumption pattern.

Other factors might be that the population is less sensitive to chicken and pork prices. Tonsor suspects that is one reason that beef demand has been stronger than anticipated, because that cross price pressure isn't as strong as it used to be.

Tonsor encourages the public to read their latest fact sheet, called "Beef Demand Prioritization" by clicking here. Among the key highlights, include a growing U.S. population and how the role of minorities will become predominant, as there will be a more diverse population. But the beef industry does not know how this will result in cultural and food consumption changes and what they will expect from the U.S. beef industry.

This audio was provided by Kansas State University, as Tonsor was interviewed by Eric Atkinson of Agriculture Today. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's Beef Buzz.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Glynn Tonsor of K-State
right-click to download mp3


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