According to the recently released Organisation for Economic Development (OECD) Agricultural Outlook 2019-2028, beef production is expected to continue to grow. In developing countries, it is expected to be 17% higher in 2028, with developing countries such as Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan and South Africa, to account for 72% of additional beef produced worldwide.
According to Roelie van Reenen, Supply Chain Executive of the Beefmaster Group – one of South Africa’s leading suppliers of beef products – South Africa is ready to capitalise on this economic opportunity. Beefmaster Group has established markets in the Middle and Far-East, amongst others.
“Markets are becoming increasingly competitive, however, we have a unique opportunity in South Africa to grow our export market, given the quality, flavour and select cuts of our beef products, which are in demand the world over,” says van Reenen. “However, all stakeholders need to work together to ensure that our beef industry continues to grow.
The FAO meat price index shows that of the pork, poultry and beef prices, beef was the only one that remained stable during 2018, owing to abundant export availability and robust demand.
Van Reenen believes that to prepare for the increased global demand for beef, which benefits the entire beef supply chain, both small-scale and large commercial farmers must become better marketers. They can do this by working through recognised supply networks.
“As an industry, we need to support our farmers to run their operations more profitably and productively.”
“There’s a greater focus on marketing beef internationally and exporting to other countries. Cattle farmers need to market themselves and be more involved in the marketing process in order to ensure that their businesses are here to stay.
“As the OECD report points out, there will be pressure on farmers who are not able to lower their costs through improved productivity. This is where marketing comes in – from farmer to retailer, everyone in the value chain has to ensure that we deliver quality beef both in South Africa and to the export markets,” he concludes.