A broad strategy for the future of the British beef industry was explored at a National Beef Association meeting last week.
Centred around integration, data use and consumer orientation, industry experts gave their thoughts to the Midlands Committee of the National Beef Association (NBA) in Daventry, Northamptonshire on Friday (26 October).
Barclays Bank’s national head of agriculture Mark Suthern, John Bell of Berrystock feeds, Roger Meadows (recently of Alexander and Angel and Cargill), Dr Jonathan Birnie of Birnie Associates Consulting and Matt Nightingale, CEO of Meadow Quality, addressed the seminar.
The five areas for improvement were:
- Industry integration could help meet consumer demand within managed margins, such as in the white meat sector;
- Focus on the consumer – a consumer will avoid beef for 12 weeks after a bad experience. Follow the principles of price, quality and convenience;
- Data collection and its use in influencing management decisions;
- Data collection and its subsequent use on culling and bull selection is important;
- Concentrate on margins rather than output, said Mark Suthern, national head of agriculture, Barclays Bank. Beef has a bright future providing farmers adapt and integrate production systems.
NBA national chairman Andrew Laughton stated: “It is clear that while there are challenges, there are many opportunities for the UK beef industry.
“Adopting integrated production systems, gathering and making best use of data and implementing effective breeding policies can help deliver assured supply lines for retailers.”