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Cattlemen's Capitol Concerns

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CattleAnnie

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News Article
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Cattlemen's Capitol Concerns 3/21/2005 2:45:00 PM



Threatening Our Profitability: This week has brought extensive media coverage surrounding BSE, Canada, international trade and the beef industry. Activist cattlemen’s claims regarding the safety of beef and threatening consumer confidence in our products swept the headlines. Such talk is advocating short-term gains and yet threatening long-term profitability for all cattle producers. There continues to be a fraction of this industry that evidently believes the key to maintaining strong prices and long-term profitability is to control and limit supply. As the largest and most historic organization representing the American rancher, NCBA simply just doesn’t buy that. Controlling and limiting supply might create some gains in the short term, but it is not a sustainable way to run our industry.



How do we maintain strong prices while assuring long-term profitability? The answer is simple. Profitability depends upon TWO objectives: (1) steady demand and (2) increased market opportunities. Questioning beef safety and calling for never-ending border closures can destroy both of these. For generations now, NCBA has been a powerful leader in maintaining profitability by growing beef demand, and thus growing opportunities for our industry – not shrinking them.



Making false scientific claims about beef in regards to trade with Canada only does TWO things: (1) threatens long-term border closures for all markets and (2) fires up new questions about beef safety from American consumers. Condemning Japan for not making trade decisions based on science, while making unscientific claims about Canadian beef is the ultimate hypocrisy. This type of action increases the difficulty of reopening our export markets and regaining the $175 per head we lost December 23rd, 2003. NCBA has lead national and international efforts to assure consumers that BSE is simply not found in the muscle meat. But now, the old can of worms has been re-opened, and we must fight factions in our own industry and explain why all beef is safe from BSE.



Actions like these clearly have unintended consequences. If we lose the beef demand we have gained in the last eight years by destroying consumer confidence, we will lose $200 per head. Short term we may experience higher prices, but longer term we will experience lower prices and reduced profits. These unintended consequences jeopardize our future and the future of the next generation of cattle ranchers. Loss of demand means lower prices and fewer cattlemen. Loss of export markets means lower prices and fewer cattlemen. More regulation means more concentration, increased costs, and fewer cattlemen. NCBA is calling for all cattle producers to stand firm and fight for solutions that ensure the future of our families and our legacy, not disparage beef products for personal gain.


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Take care.
 

mrj

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CattleAnnie, thanks for posting that. It might not make flashy headlines, but is surely does make sense!

MRJ
 

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