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Abstract

In recent years, the U.S. beef industry has lost a significant portion of its historically dominant market share, due both to changes in consumer preferences and to an increase in the price of beef relative to pork and poultry. Changes within the beef industry to improve its competitive position have been slow and relatively unsuccessful. Challenges faced by the industry include a fragmented marketing channel and mistrust among its many participants, lack of specificity in product quality evaluation, and a lengthy and complex production cycle. Future success in maintaining or gaining market share will depend upon the availability of timely information, including forecasts of consumer demand, and the development of incentives to encourage effective behavior by all channel entities to meet this demand. Branded products have been utilized in other sectors of the agricultural industry and have increased consumer demand while also providing production and marketing incentives to align the behavior of channel participants. Industry coordination supporting branded fresh beef products is also a viable option for the beef industry.

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