Bigger Carrots And Harder Sticks Would Boost Beef Returns, Says NBA

US - If more beef processors would turn the screws on specification, not price, finishers could ultimately earn more money.
calendar icon 20 April 2007
clock icon 1 minute read

It is an argument being promoted by the National Beef Association saying that if producers were better rewarded for producing what their buyer really wanted, and ensured they better met that specification, they should make more money.

The association accepts that this must entail stiffer penalties for out-of-spec cattle. Realistic premiums for the right cattle, backed by discounts, would encourage finishers to chase the potential rewards, it says.

At present too few slaughterers were maximising the efficiency of their own plants as they were dealing with too wide a range of specifications, whether or not they have a range of customers, says NBA chairman Duff Burrell.

“Efficient operation means you are killing a continuous line of cattle of the same specification at any one time – cattle that you really want,” he said.

Next month the industry is to debate topics such as VIA (visual imaging analysis) and dressing specifications, but Mr Burrell said however the required carcases were identified, the most important thing was that producers were clear on what they should be producing, that they targeted it at the right outlet, were paid a sustainable price for it – and that the system was adequately policed.

Source: FarmersGuardian
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