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July 15, 2022

Alberta beef competitiveness study seeks to build resiliency in beef supply chain

The Alberta beef industry is keen to dive into results of a competitiveness study initiated last year.

With a number of challenges impacting the supply chain over the last two years, some pressing risk factors have been brought to the forefront. COVID-19 shone a light on our supply chain challenges and we continue to see impacts in today’s markets, putting immense pressure on beef producers and consumers.

Recognizing that further investigation was needed, the Alberta Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development approached Alberta Beef Producers, Alberta Cattle Feeders’ Association, and the Canadian Cattle Association to initiate an Alberta beef competitiveness study. This study will seek to understand the apparent lack of packing capacity to build resiliency through the beef supply chain.

Research in this area will help industry and government understand the best approach to diversify, and build capacity and resiliency for Alberta’s meat processing sector. It will also address concerns around price discovery and transparency by identifying which data should be reported at each stage of production, and highlighting potential interventions when margins become excessive.

The beef competitiveness study has three key components. First, it will provide a better understanding of the barriers to entry and expansion for the packing sector. Second, it will address confidentiality concerns through price transparency in Canadian boxed beef prices. And finally, it will provide a literature review of the price discovery conversations around fed cattle in North America, including an evaluation of U.S. proposals in the Canadian context.

We look forward to the opportunities that the results of the study will provide once it is available later this year.

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