New Beef Directory Connects Consumers and Farmers in the Northeast
Posted on 4/5/2017 by Melissa JacksonTweet Email
Consumers in the Northeast are more discerning with their food dollar when seeking beef as compared to all consumers in the United States, according to research findings from the 2016 Northeast Consumer Beef Index. Northeast consumers generally choose to purchase their meat from specialty stores or markets. These markets sell more than a simple cut of meat, they sell a ‘story’ associated with the product.
Additionally, the 2015 Local Food Marketing Practices Survey conducted by the National Agriculture Statistics Service shows the Northeast region has the highest number of farms selling food directly to consumers, and beef is the number one food commodity sold directly from the farm through all channels of distribution.
In consideration of the number of Northeast farmers selling their products directly to the public, and those consumers being especially interested in local sourcing of their food, the national beef checkoff has just launched the Northeast Beef Directory through a partnership with the Virginia Beef Industry Council.
“The goal of this new web resource is to help connect Northeast consumers with local beef markets and farmers selling beef directly, while at the same time reminding them of the safety, convenience and wholesomeness of beef purchased through the more traditional and mainstream channels of distribution such as a supermarkets, club warehouse stores or online retailers,” said Christie Brown, director of promotions for the Northeast Beef Promotion Initiative, a contractor to the beef checkoff program.
This new website, launched in April, includes robust educational resources that inform consumers about their options for choosing beef. These sub-pages include many popular shopper resources already funded by the Beef Checkoff Program, such as a ‘Beef Choices’ infographic, a ‘Beef Breakdown, Explained’ fact sheet and an ‘Interactive Butcher Counter.’ Thanks to this additional information, consumers will discover that regardless of their final decision, all their beef choices are safe, nutritious and delicious.
Valerie Rasmussen, director of consumer information and marketing with the Virginia Beef Industry Council, said, “The beef directories are about more than local beef sources. It’s a gateway for educating consumers about their beef options and how to be smart shoppers, ask the right questions at the point of sale, and have success in the kitchen with their purchases. Virginia’s directory has performed very well, and extending this resource into the Northeast will benefit another large population of farm-removed consumers, including the Washington D.C. area with the addition of Maryland listings, and beyond, to areas like New York City.”
Any beef producer or butcher shop located in the Northeast region selling beef directly to the public is encouraged to be a part of the directory by filling out the Producer Submission Form.
"Checkoff staff works tirelessly and strategically to clear a path for producers to get their product to market. This directory is a perfect platform and another tool we can offer. It is my hope all beef producers selling direct to consumers will make themselves visible in this directory,” said Bridget Bingham, executive director of the Pennsylvania Beef Council.
For more information about your checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com.