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Beef Buzz News


Is "Better Than" the Right Way to Market Certain Attributes of Beef? Probably Not Says John Butler

Fri, 27 Feb 2015 06:17:21 CST

Is The Beef Marketing Group is a producer cooperative with 19 cattle feeding and growing operations in Kansas and Nebraska. The group was established in the late 1980’s. They have been focusing on producing value added beef products that meet consumer demands and they produce beef that can meet the criteria of restaurants like Chipotle. At the Ag Issues Forum in Phoenix, held in conjunction with the Commodity Classic, John Butler brought up a major player in the casual dining market nationally that has been openly critical of modern production practices of the beef industry- Chipolte Mexican Grill. After his comments on stage, Butler talked with Farm Director Ron Hays about Chipolte and their antagonistic public stance with the US beef industry.


“I guess the major concern I would have is that, I am a supporter of choice for just about anything, but certainly with beef,” Butler said. “If there is a consumer that is demanding a product, for instance with no hormones and no antibiotics, that’s fine. That’s a choice that needs to be delivered on, but where I have a concern is when there is marketing or positioning of that product, that is it better than the regular beef. I think that is potentially misleading. I think from a nutritional standpoint, there is very little if any difference. There is a perception difference and that’s fine.”


Butler thinks a better approach is showing the product meets certain expectations, such as no hormones and no antibiotics, which he says is what should be marketed to the consumer. You can listen to this entire Beef Buzz feature, by clicking or tapping on the LISTENBAR below.


Hays addressed the aggressiveness of Chipotle in using cartoons to attack mainstream beef production.   Butler agreed and shared how he has concerns with their marketing.


“I feel like there is a concern there that is portrayed to the consumer, that those of us that are in the business of producing a safe and wholesome protein product are not doing it correctly, are doing it in a way that is harmful to the animals, that we don’t have care and compassion for those individuals and that is just wrong. That is just wrong. And so I have issue with that sort of positioning and that type of marketing.”

The conversation with Hays resulted from the dialogue that Butler had at the Ag Issues Forum in Phoenix with Frank Sesno- click here to hear that full discussion.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

   

   

Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with John Butler of Beef Marketing Group
right-click to download mp3

 

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