Feed Lot

DEC 2018

Feedlots and cow/calf operations in the beef industry who feed 500 or more has annually on grains and concentrates; maintain 500 or more beef cows; backgrounder, stocker/grower, preconditioner; veterinarian, nutritionist, consultant

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14 FEED•LOT December 2018 FEEDLOT FOCUS and told them what we wanted them to know," he added. "Well, what's changed? Our relationship: the balance of power shifted to- ward consumers." They still control the buying decisions, but also user-generat- ed information on platforms like Snapchat, Facebook and Pinterest. "The amount of information they generate, whether they like it, don't like it, the experience, have they heard something bad about it or something good about it—and don't forget most consumers are at least two generations removed from a farm," Hueser said. "They don't know where food comes Beef packers bridge the gap be- tween producers and consumers, but even "the largest packer in the world" is nothing without its sup- pliers, John Gerber said. Stating the obvious to 200 cattle- men at the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB ® ) brand's Feeding Quality Forum, the longtime procurement head for Tyson Fresh Meats set the tone. Every link in the supply chain from ranch to consumer has a role to play. "We do billions of dollars of business on a handshake—this is the only industry that can do that— and I hope that never changes," Gerber said. The best way to ensure those traditional building blocks of trust and loyalty are continued commu- nication and collaboration, with an even greater effort at transpar- ency, he added: "We're going to be wide open." Relationships with suppliers met demand for "more CAB-type cattle" in just six months when a major retailer called for so much more in 2016 that the Tyson team first wondered if it would take two or three years, Gerber said. "That ability to give consumers what they demand is important to all of us," he said, explaining why five of six company plants turned away from Holsteins, and bids are down for Select grade beef. "Very few consumers want Se- lects anymore," Gerber said. What they do want, the whole world knows about in short order these days, thanks to technology, said Kevin Hueser, Tyson vice pres- ident of beef pricing. Consumers have always con- trolled purchasing decisions. "Did they like the product—what they knew about it? Prior to 2010, they transferred that information word-of-mouth to a pretty small circle of friends," Hueser said. As the seller, we controlled the product, made what we wanted PACKER TALKS TRANSPARENCY, TRUST AND DEMAND DRIVERS BY STEVE SUTHER Gerber Hueser

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