Friday, September 17, 2021

The cattle producer has a beef with 35 years of marketing activities

Bel Plain, Kansas – For 35 years, cattle producers have been funding one of the nation’s most iconic marketing activities, but now many people want to end their plans to create “beef.” This is the slogan of what to eat for dinner.

What is the rancher’s beef? Just as imports flooded the market and plant-based “fake meat” products proliferated in grocery stores, their mandatory per-ox charge did not specifically promote American beef.

“U.S. consumers were deceived at the meat counter, and our checkout fund did nothing to help clarify or answer questions about where the sirloin was born, raised, and harvested,” Nebraska Cattle Farmer and Field Director Card Linna Jones said. R-CALF American Trading Group, which is seeking to end inspections.

Opponents of the beef inspection program established by federal law in 1986 are urging cattle farmers to sign a petition calling for a referendum on ending the program.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack approved last month to extend the deadline to October 3 so that they can collect the signatures they need.

Supporters of the petition believe that beef inspections are government-authorized assessments to fund government speeches. The beef inspection fund stipulated by the law cannot be used to advertise other meats such as pork or chicken, nor can it be used for lobbying. But they complained that despite this, most of the funds supported lobbying groups that opposed mandatory country-of-origin labeling, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.

They also pointed out that the U.S. cattle industry today is completely different from when the inspection program was implemented, with more beef imported and a higher concentration of meat processors.

“Now we are paying advertising fees for the four major meat processing plants, which are able to import beef and purchase it from cheaper countries and deceive our consumers,” Jones said.

The petition created a division between supporters and non-supporters of animal husbandry.

But consumers also have a stake in this fight.

Harry Kaiser, director of the Cornell University Commodity Promotion Research Project, said one way to look at this is that consumers may not like the checkout plan because it raises the price of beef, so some consumer groups oppose it. He said another way to look at it is to inspect and fund beef safety research and the development of new beef products.

The cattle producer has a beef with 35 years of marketing activities
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