The truth is that industry sectors understand too little about one another. That’s what alliances and vertical cooperation between segments is supposed to help solve.

The good news is that, for all practical purposes, the carcass target for the greatest consumer value has remained virtually the same for at least 25 years.

But, understanding follows the bounty, or dearth, of communication. Both understanding and communication continue to elude beef industry sectors when it comes to one another.

Consider the recent consumer backlash surrounding lean finely textured beef (LFTB) this spring, which ultimately decimated more than one company, as well as a proven technology. There were as many beef producers unaware of LFTB as there were consumers.

When BEEF magazine recently asked leaders across the industry spectrum how the magazine could help producers the most – what topics it could cover that it wasn’t already – the common response was: “help them understand the workings of the different industry segments and their interdependence.”

All the respondents said fostering such an understanding is an industry necessity going forward. Thus, during the next year, we will profile each industry segment, offer a sense of its size, challenges and opportunities. Along with that, we’ll highlight important technologies that have helped deliver higher-quality beef animals and end products in a more efficient and cost-effective way.