Beef is one of the most consumed meats in the world after pork and poultry. Beef is the most preferred form of meat as it is a source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients. The beef consumption is mainly driven by fast food or dine out culture in the developing economies. In the global beef market, Brazil, India, and Australia and the largest exporters, whereas the US, Brazil, and China are the largest consumers of beef. Although, the popularity of beef is growing across the world, there are numerous procurement and supply chain issues facing the beef market which has to be tackled by the suppliers.
Pork and chicken are considered a direct substitute for beef, packing an equal amount of nutrients and protein value. Also, pork and chicken farming have lower costs across the supply chain regarding processing and production. Additionally, the lower cost of pork and chicken compared to beef prices has also urged the consumers and farmers to switch. For instance, the retail price of 1 lb of beef in the US, as on 2016 is around 620 cents while pork and chicken cost 378 and 142 cents, respectively (SpendEdge – Global Beef Market – Procurement Market Intelligence Report). The fact that several scientific studies have pointed out white meat as a healthier option compared to red meat has driven the demand for chicken replacing the demand in the beef market.
Environmental Impact During the Beef Production Process
The resource requirement for cow and buffalo farming is exceptionally high compared to other cattle farming. Due to their relatively large size, they require 28 times more land and 11 times more water usage for beef farming. Consumers are getting wary about the ill effects of beef production on the environment as cow and buffaloes emit five times more climate-warming emissions than chicken or pork.
Health Concerns Related to Beef Intake
In general, red meat including beef have more saturated fats and cholesterol than white meat. Cholesterol and saturated fats are known to be harmful to humans as they lead to cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and antibiotic resistance have been linked with the intake of beef. All of this has prompted the consumers to switch to white meat and vegetable proteins instead.
Increase in Animal Welfare Activities and Vegetarianism
Organizations such as PETA has been rigorous in their efforts to curtail the consumption and production of meat. They have rolled out several campaigns showing the brutality and pain suffered by the animals in the meat manufacturing process. Also, the growing trend of vegetarianism and veganism in developed countries like the US and Canada has shown a negative trend in the beef consumption.
Indian Government Ban on Sale of Slaughter Cattle
India is the second largest exporter of beef accounting for 20% of the world beef exports. However, Indian Government’s move to appease its Hindu conservatives, who worship cow as a god, may result in the nation exiting the beef export market. Currently, though, 18 out of 29 states in India have banned the slaughter of cattle with more to follow, which is disrupting the beef supply chain across the world.
Read more about the top challenges in the beef market along with competitive landscape analysis, pricing insights, sourcing strategy, and procurement market intelligence in SpendEdge’s upcoming report on the global beef market.