In March 1997, a FMD epidemic broke out in the Taiwan pig industry and within four months some 40 per cent of the pig population was lost to the disease. The demand for pork fell substantially following the outbreak due to food safety concerns by consumers, and this raises the question of whether there were any related impacts in the demand for other meats. The objectives of this study were to determine econometrically the relative impact of the FMD outbreak on the demand for imported beef from Australia, New Zealand and the United States, and to draw marketing implications for beef suppliers to Taiwan. The study found that overall the FMD outbreak had little impact on beef imports although beef demand had changed slightly for New Zealand and United States over a six-month period. This result suggests that there might be a missed opportunity for beef suppliers, given that food scares are generally short-term in nature and a quick response immediately after the outbreak is required to take advantage of the situation.


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