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Beef Buzz News


What Consumers Want? Understanding the Controversial Social Issues Changing the Beef Industry

Mon, 01 May 2017 12:05:22 CDT

What Consumers Want? Understanding the Controversial Social Issues Changing the Beef Industry Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Glynn Tonsor has been involved in extensive research examining the needs and wants of the consumer when it comes to the meat they buy. He told Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, there are a few items that top the list of consumer concerns when shopping for beef.


“Safety and freshness are the two biggest attributes,” he said. “It’s been cross-validated many, many times that if you can only pick two things - safety and freshness in beef is what is most important.”


However, those aspects are not what are considered to be part of the social debate going on currently among the consumer base and its influencers. Safety to a degree, yes says Tonsor, but more so about controversial matters such as the hormone and antibiotic free trend, animal well-being, environmental impacts of production, origin labelling, etc. While taste is something that can be personally experienced by the consumer, information pertaining to these matters are not easily verified. Thus, presents the challenge at hand - how do producers provide this information that consumers want, but are not willing to pay more for?


“The only way a consumer can be informed on that, is for there to be a system that tracks, labels, sorts and provides that information to them,” Tonsor asserted. “So, I don’t think it’s by accident there are growing calls for verification and documentation of those practices, because that’s the only way the public gets information on those practices.”


Listen to Tonsor and Hays discuss the way consumer demand is influencing the way beef is being produced as the industry works to address social issues surrounding food, on today’s Beef Buzz.


The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is 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.




   




   

Listen to Tonsor and Hays discuss consumer demand and how it is influencing beef production today
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