Improve market transparency
The rapid movement of farm gate prices for cattle, both up and down, between early 2013 and mid 2014 have encouraged a breakdown of trust within the supply chain. That trust can only be restored by greater sharing of information in respect of supply, demand and price drivers within the chain. While inevitably some demand changes, spurred for example by a food scare, take hold more quickly than the beef production cycle can react, greater understanding throughout the supply chain of both the production profile, demand behaviour and patterns will help to improve understanding and trust.
Industry representative bodies should establish a roundtable that meets every quarter to discuss the developing market situation and agrees common actions to communicate messages to the wider production base in respect of product specifications and market requirements.
Once established this group, by drawing together representatives from across the beef supply chain, should take on a wider remit for reviewing, developing and guiding the delivery of a long term strategy for the Scottish Beef Industry.