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Look for Beef Briefs to be delivered the first of each month – your snapshot of beef checkoff news affecting the dairy and beef industries. Editor’s note: please feel free to use these news items as space allows in your publication or online content. If you would like to expand on a certain topic, please e-mail Melissa Slagle at email@example.com.
In case you missed it…
… Get the latest updates by “friending” MyBeefCheckoff on Facebook.
… Follow us this week on Twitter during the Cattle Industry Convention at #CIC12.
… Checkoff BQA Tip of the Week: Cleaning Needles and Syringes
Have you played the checkoff’s “Cow Chow” Game and Video Series?
The beef checkoff launched “Cow Chow,” an online game and video series designed to answer common questions about cattle diets. The 10-question game and corresponding videos encourage consumers to explore what cattle eat from birth to the feedyard. The first-of-their-kind “Cow Chow” videos were filmed almost exclusively by cattle in Kansas, South Dakota, Texas and Florida wearing specially-rigged GoPro cameras to share this important animal care story from the cows’ eye view.
Curious consumers can now see exactly what cattle really eat every day as they compete in an interactive quiz game. Upon completion of the game, users can post results and badge to their Facebook page, and challenge their friends to beat their best score. The Cow Chow game and videos emphasize the attention cattle farmers and ranchers pay to their animals, their land and their communities.
The “Cow Chow: Exploring What Cattle Eat” game and videos are hosted on the checkoff’s ExploreBeef.org website.
Beef Promotion Boosts Sales in El Salvador
The beef checkoff recently conducted a retail beef promotion with Super Selectos, the largest supermarket chain in the Central American nation of El Salvador, in cooperation with meat distributor Alimentos Campeón. The promotion was conducted at 18 high-end Super Selectos retail locations.
El Salvador is the most densely populated country in Central America, with a population of about 6 million. Four of Central America’s 12 largest cities (San Salvador, Soyapango, Santa Ana and San Miguel) are located in El Salvador. Consumers there are most familiar with domestic beef or beef imported from Nicaragua. In either case, the beef is from grass-fed cattle and severely lacking in tenderness.
The objective of the promotion was to better acquaint Super Selectos customers with grain-fed beef and educate them on the superior quality and enjoyment offered by U.S. products. Beef cuts featured in the promotion included inside and outside skirt, ribeye, striploin, knuckle, short rib, top blade and coulotte.
Click here to learn more about your checkoff investment in foreign marketing programs.
Good News … Mostly
A five-year look at consumer data from the checkoff-funded Consumer Beef Index (CBI), identifies some key trends, including: an ongoing rise in the percentage of consumers that say the positives of beef outweigh the negatives (a key tracking measure tied to the Beef Industry Long Range Plan); more consumers saying they intend to eat more beef in the future versus less; and a smaller percentage of consumers saying they have heard a story about a beef “issue” in the news. Of concern is the slightly reduced frequency of weekly beef meals, a trend many consumers tie to the recession and lingering concern about the nutritional merits of beef relative to other protein choices. For a full overview and shifts over time, visit CBI.
A healthier you: Now available at your neighborhood grocery store
Americans’ grocery store expenditures continue to increase as consumers look for cost savings, have a renewed interest in cooking and believe food they eat at home is healthier. Consumers also are turning to these popular destinations for their nutrition information. Supermarkets are capitalizing on their convenient nature to offer multi-faceted, holistic health services, including employing in-store or corporate registered dietitians. The beef industry must reach out to supermarket health and nutrition professionals to provide accurate information about beef’s nutrition as these individuals reach hundreds of consumers on a regular basis. Additionally, as meat case nutrition labeling rolls out in 2012, these point-of-purchase educators will play a valuable role in helping consumers decipher beef’s Nutrition Facts label information.
For more, read the checkoff-funded Beef Issues Quarterly newsletter.
Feeding Future Generations: A forum discussion on sustainable global food production
A forum held in Washington, D.C., in mid October, co-hosted by The Atlantic and the beef checkoff, focused on the complex challenge of feeding a growing population with limited natural resources.
Panelists came from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds to offer a broad perspective on the issues of food production. Collaboration about food scarcity issues will provide a foundation for finding solutions that are economically, environmentally and socially sustainable to meet growing food demand.
Click here to read the full event summary.
The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.