Beef Buzz News
NCBA's Kent Bacus Explains Why We Need To Import Small Amounts Of Beef
Fri, 14 Aug 2020 11:32:08 CDT
Importing foreign beef is a controversial topic among some cattle producers but Kent Bacus, director of international trade and market access for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said it' a good thing during a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes With Kent Bacus
Trade is one of the most misunderstood issues out there, Bacus said. We must take an objective view and understand 85 percent of what we produce is sold here, he said.
Most of what we are importing are lean trimmings going into hamburger.
Bacus noted 95 percent of the beef produced here is finished in a feed yard. However, we don't produce enough to meet the ground beef demand.
Blending imported trimmings into domestic ground beef is preferred to be ceding the hamburger market to another protein source such as chicken, Bacus said.
Most of the imported beef comes from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.
Any country that is selling beef here must get through all the approval checks from the USDA and that is not an easy process.
They have to meet an equivalent safety standard as we have here and that's important for consumers and producers, he said.
We are net exporters of beef as we are selling a lot of cuts Americans don't want to buy such as tongue, he noted.
It doesn't do us any good to restrict imports because it won't help us meet everyone's needs, Bacus said.
He said often more government intervention leads to vertical integration.
The last thing we need now is more vertical integration, Bacus said, as we need freedom to deliver what the consumer wants.
Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more comments from NCBA's Kent Bacus.
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.
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