Beef Improvement Federation 2016: What will the North American beef market look like 20 years from now: opportunities for domestic and international growth

Dr. Glynn Tonsor
Dr. Ted Schroeder
Kansas State University

The comparative advantages of North American beef industry is world trust and premium prices. North America is the leader in grain-finished production. North America has a sound and effective infrastructure; feed grain base, processing, safety, transportation, genetics and meat quality expertise, research discovery and education.

Some of the comparative disadvantages of North American beef production is that it is not the lowest price per pound producer. Further, there is limited communication, coordination, and signaling between sectors of beef production. There is fragmented support of traceability systems and focus on future beef demand.

Schroeder stated it is important to remember that the value of beef production comes from supplying demands of beef consumers. We need to make sure that the domestic consumer market accepts what we are doing. The United States population is changing, and we need to make sure we are meeting their wants.

We need to identify areas of population and income growth, as these countries will have growing meat demand.

Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) involves 12 countries, 830 million people, largest trade agreement, 7 of 30 richest countries. This agreement would reduce the Japan tariff on US beef from 38.5% to 9% over 15 years.

Immense opportunity exists, BUT internal industry coordination must improve.

Tonsor's predictions for 2036:
Less animals and operations yet more beef
Exports as share of production will be more than 11% (alleviate price pressure at home)
Improved coordination and information flows (may be forced simply by technology, attitude change would further improve)

In additions to current premiums and discounts, there are possible new specifications:

  • Tenderness
  • Technology/Prodcution Practice
  • Source verification
  • Many more?


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