The beef cattle experts will tell you the industry has come a long way during the past pandemic-infused 12 months. Dr. Nevil Speer with Where Food Comes From, Inc. noted while the pandemic has been a challenge.
“There’s been some really exciting things that we’ve seen in terms of beef demand. And the consumer, they’ve been willing to pay at the higher end of the retail side in terms of choice or a prime product and willing to really invest in facilities to cook at home, things like barbecue and outdoor cooking and what have you, and they’ve taken a lot more interest in their food. And, you know, we’ve been able to kind of get through this.”
Speer said there’s also been an increase in demand prime beef carcasses.
“Boy, it’s amazing. We continue to kind of click away and about ten percent every week and I can remember way back when, when I was in graduate school, we never dreamt that was possible. And the industry has done such a good job in terms of improving genetics and improving management and consumers continue to prove they like prime beef and that’s partly what’s helped drive demand.”
He said consumers also want to know more about where their food comes from, including Country of Origin labeling.
““You know, we do the job of telling our story and I know that’s always a hot topic, but ultimately, we see that as a market driven solution and if that’s something that consumers ultimately kind of want their stamp on that label, we’re going to try to make it happen in the market. Again, story becomes important, and it’s not just around Country of Origin Labeling, we’re seeing increased demand for things like natural, more and more concern about animal welfare, and no doubt with this administration coming in, there’s going to be more talk around environmental things.”
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