Grading Systems in the Pork and Beef Industries

Government commodity grading systems have a long and sometimes controversial history in the livestock and meat industry. Historically, the only way to develop standard procedures for a very independent and fragmented group of producers and processors has been to utilize the auspices of government. Originally, the primary reason for government grading systems was to facilitate (1) more accurate identification of value-related differences in commodities being marketed for both buyers and sellers, (2) an improved competitive process, and (3) improved resource allocation (producing the "right" products) in the industry. The government grading system in the beef industry has been a frequent subject of controversy and, infrequently, changed in the last 30 years, while the pork government grading system has fallen into disuse. In this paper, we focus primarily on the pork industry grading system, its history, alternative criteria and grading approaches, and offer some recommendations. Then we discuss some related issues regarding the beef grading system and consider possible changes.

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 Record created 2017-12-15, last modified 2018-04-02

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