CattleFax's Randy Blach Says Evolution of US Beef Industry Remarkable, Still More Work to be DoneWed, 06 Feb 2019 10:10:29 CST
Beef cattle producers have met the challenge of improving the quality and eating experience for consumers since 1998. That was at the bottom of beef demand when it started coming back up. Since that time, cattle producers have gone from 50 to 55 percent Choice and Prime cattle to 80 percent Choice and Prime on average. CattleFax CEO Randy Blach said in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays during the 2019 Cattle Industry Convention in New Orleans, it is remarkable what the industry has been able to accomplish over the years but contends there is still a lot more work to do.
“I think the challenge is now, what do we add to that? What are the things these new consumers want? The Millennials, the Gen-Xers… they have some different attributes that they want in addition to the quality,” Blach said. “I think it’s important that the industry listen and hear what that is.”
One of the primary things Blach says this new generation of beef consumer is asking for is for an exceptional eating experience - every time. While producers have worked diligently the last couple decades to provide that, seeing the value that a consistently reliable product has, Blach says that lesson was learned the hard way. Before the industry came together to set itself on a new course toward quality and consistency, the beef community’s consumer base was on a steady decline. However, Blach commends the industry for turning things around and insuring consumers have the eating experience they demand through the improvements made to the overall quality of their product. According to Blach, the result of that strategy speaks for itself.
“Had we not grown demand in theis last 20 years, we’d be selling calves $50/cwt lower than we are today. Fed cattle prices would be $270 ahead lower,” he said before remarking on the areas where further improvements can be made. “One of the things we continue to hear about, not just in the US but around the globe is traceability, source verified, humanely raised - all of these things. It’s just figuring out how we can package that with that overall positive eating experience because these things are important to consumers.”
Listen to Blach and Hays’ full discussion over the evolution of beef quality in the US and where it is headed, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to you by the American Angus Association. America’s Breed.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.
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