O;ering humanely raised beef
such as Arcadian can give
retailers a competitive edge.
Will the New Tari;s
A;ect Beef Prices?
President Trump’s trade war has been a concern
for agricultural industries such as soybean
farming, but its projected influence on beef prices
is causing confusion.
While beef is not a major Chinese export, a
slowdown in imports to China and other countries
related to the tari;s could have an influence on
According to a report from the Wall Street
Journal, there is a surplus of meat in the U. S.,
with more than 2.5 billion pounds of beef, pork
and poultry sitting in cold storage. The growing
stockpile is in part due to lower feed prices, which
has allowed cattle farmers to up production to
a point where demand and storage space can’t
keep up with supply. As exports become more
complicated, the surplus could mean a drop in meat
prices. For reference, Burt Flickinger III, managing
director of New York-based Strategic Resource
Group, told USA Today that there may be a 5%
drop in prices initially, likely maxing out at 12%.
On the other hand, representatives from the
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have
shown concern for how the tari;s will a;ect their
operations. Kent Bacus, director of international
trade for the association, said in an interview with
CNBC that major exports for the beef industry
include cuts such as beef tongue and short ribs
that Americans shy away from but consumers in
Latin American and Asian countries embrace.
“We’re worried that the repercussions of some
of these tari;s is essentially going to squeeze us
out of the market,” Bacus said.
be the quality they expect.” However, a bad
experience could turn consumers off for
good, “so retailers need to ensure they provide a good experience from day one.”
‘Meating’ Welfare Standards
One way that retailers can build this trust
with customers is to offer beef that meets
their values. In the past, that was organic,
says Arcadian Organic and Natural Meat
Co. CEO Alister Ferguson, and then it was
organic plus grass-fed. More recently it has
been “about welfare and certi;cations such
as certi;ed humane and non-GMO project
approved,” he says.
Catherine Golding, business development
manager with True Aussie Beef and Lamb,
seconds that. She advises that as people
become savvier about their food choices,
beyond quality and price they are becoming
People are increasingly expecting ethically
raised meat, including hormone-free, natural,
vegetarian-fed and grass-fed as a given.”
—Catherine Golding, True Aussie Beef and Lamb
Meat & Seafood Fresh Business
concerned with “how their meat was raised
and its impact on their health and well-being,” she says.
“People are increasingly expecting ethically raised meat, including hormone-free,
natural, vegetarian-fed and grass-fed as a
given,” says Golding, adding that retailers
should “increase their assortment accordingly, providing more open information to
help shoppers make better decisions in-store
and ensuring that sta; is more knowledgeable than ever about their o;erings,” as well
as asking the same questions of suppliers that
customers would ask, such as where and how
the beef was raised.
Additionally, Golding says consumers are
increasingly willing to try new cuts of beef
beyond the mainstream, but that also must
be accompanied by explanations and tips to
ensure folks know what they are buying and
that they are cooking the items correctly.
Data from the Power of Meat study backs
up Golding’s point, a;rming that while more
than eight in ;; shoppers buy only a few different cuts of meat and poultry, ;;; would
be willing to try something new if they were
advised to do so.
“We know that many shoppers are reluctant to ask questions in the meat department,”
Golding says. “This is a miss and should be
addressed with better in-store navigation,
including e;orts to make the meat section
more inviting and engaging. Since ‘shopping
starts before the store,’ the philosophy of
helpful education should extend to the grocer’s digital, mobile and social platforms too.”
“This provides opportunity for grocers to