People in the food business call it “share of stomach”—how competitive they are in capturing a percentage of the consumer’s stomach and therefore, the dollars spent on food. Retailers have been steadily losing stomach share as the American culture has changed and the dining room lights have dimmed. Here’s how they’re fighting back....More
I’ve been closely following as the World Trade Organization (WTO) considered the appeal case of the U.S. country of origin labeling (COOL) law brought on by Canada and Mexico. In late June, WTO issued its final decision, affirming the legitimacy of COOL as a tool to inform consumers about where their meat comes from. However, WTO also ruled that the law is unfair in bringing extra challenges for Canadian and Mexican beef and pork producers, saying it makes products that don’t originate from the U.S. look less favorable in the meat case....More
“I spent the last month traveling the globe and learning many surprising things about the world food supply. Here in the U.S., we often complain about the price of food or even sometimes the quality, but after my recent travels, I won’t be complaining anytime soon,” says Karoline Rose, an Angus breeder from Three Forks, MT, who is studying animal science at Montana State University....More
Should foods containing genetically modified ingredients be specially labeled as such? The American Medical Association (AMA) doesn’t think so, according to a policy statement adopted at its annual meeting in Chicago....More
Farmers and ranchers have an online resource for safety and health-related information.
The site, www.extension.org/farm_safety_and_health, is through eXtension, a national consortium of 74 land-grant universities that provides online access to research-based information and education....More
Consider the term “biosecurity” and what do you think of? People running around in hazmat suits conducting chemical warfare on some dreaded disease?
In its most extreme, that is biosecurity. The reality, however, is that implementing a biosecurity plan for your ranch isn’t difficult....More
This issue is important to U.S. beef producers because it’s important to every American. Higher-priced energy leads to higher-priced goods and services. That not only raises production costs, but suppresses demand for a lot of goods and services, not the least of which is beef....More
With today’s consumers far removed from first-hand knowledge of the production process, they are increasingly being swayed to the belief that modern agriculture is somehow bad for consumers and/or producers. Thus, the industry must not only develop a more comprehensive strategy to defend valid production practices, but be proactive rather than reactive in the process....More
Though most other states have rejected lean finely textured beef (LFTB), Nebraska and Iowa will continue to serve it in school lunches during the next school year because it's safe, lean and less expensive, state officials say....More
Flipping through two popular women’s magazines recently, I was disturbed to find articles featuring animal agriculture. In the May editions of SELF and Redbook, livestock producers were blamed for creating superbugs, breeding disease and causing antibiotic resistance....More
Domestic beef demand has surprised analysts, including myself,” says Glynn Tonsor, Kansas State University agricultural economist. And there have been plenty of reasons for concern.
• Choice wholesale beef prices declined more than $20/cwt. from the end of February to the middle of April – lower almost every day during that span....More
Major news stations across the country are having a heyday with beef these days. Creating controversy around America’s most beloved protein, journalists are quick to attack beef, scaring consumers with reports about pink slime, mad cow, meat glue and more. What’s next? And, how much damage have these derogatory terms done to the beef industry?...More
The great thing about America’s food supply is the abundance of choices we have available. Walk down the grocery store aisle, and you’ll find countless options. Additionally, the information we can obtain about our foods with a quick glimpse at a label is amazing. The meat case, for example, offers the savvy consumer choices like grass-fed, grain-fed, USA-raised, all-natural, organic and more....More
The vast majority of U.S. trading partners in beef cattle and products have followed sound science and handled the April announcement of a new case of BSE in the U.S. responsibly, says Philip Seng, president and CEO of the U.S. Meat Export Federation. However, he cautions that maintaining market access is only part of the battle....More
Like a pack of blood-hungry wolves circling for the kill, the popular media is using its success with lean finely textured beef as a launch pad to again attack the beef industry. For round 2, however, the industry is better prepared....More
For those who thought it was impossible for packers, retailers and foodservice operators to agree on much of anything, the soon-to-be-released Beef Quality Audit may come as a surprise. Indeed, as cattle producers have largely solved many of the problems that spurred the launch of the audit back in 1991, other, more current concerns have surfaced. Here’s a sneak peek....More
Food science team says the increasing popularity of organic, free-range and natural meat requires a study of the associated impacts on food safety. Also needed is an evaluation of whether the consumer perception that organic meat is safer than conventionally produced beef is warranted....More
The U.S. confirmed its fourth case of BSE in April, this one in a central California dairy cow. While the announcement sent shockwaves through the industry, the media coverage was fairly balanced and factual....More
Tyson Foods, operator of the largest packing plant serving Iowa cattle producers, reported a $10-million increase in net income to $166 million for the second quarter, but said its beef business ran a $1-million operating loss.
The beef loss, caused by high cattle prices and flat demand, made worse by the controversy in March over lean finely textured beef (LFTB) in social media, was offset by operating profits of $115 million for pork and $145 million for chicken....More