Overcoming Information Barriers in Cattle Marketing
Beef consumption has declined steadily over the last two decades, both in total quantity and as a share of U.S. meat consumption. Reductions in the price of pork and poultry and health concerns about the effects of red meat consumption account for much of this trend. However, relative improvements in the quality and consistency of pork and poultry products may also be a factor. Perhaps it is no coincidence that the beef industry has trailed pork and poultry in adopting methods for vertical coordination among the various production stages from farm to market. Contract arrangements and vertical linkages—alliances among producers, processors, and retailers—are common in pork and poultry production. Beef production, on the other hand, mainly is still coordinated through traditional market structures.