Conclusions

The marketing strategies of the future in animal agriculture will be different. Consumers will demand that their needs be met in terms of product form, product offerings, consistency, quality, and convenience in preparation, and they will be willing to pay premiums for the right products. Quality-controlled, quality-assured, and branded fresh meat lines will continue to replace commodity products, and the new products will be mainstays of the animal industry of the future.

If nonprice means of coordination such as contract, vertical alliances, and vertical integration are required to prompt the needed investments, those nonprice means of coordination are likely to grow in importance. Consumers will be helped by revised product offerings consistent with changed lifestyles, and profits are always more likely at the producer level when the consumer is well served.

In the new market strategies, genetic selection will focus on livestock to meet the needs of a consumer-driven supply chain. Producers of superior livestock will earn premiums through alliances or price grids in contracts with buyers. Investments in technology will be made within governance systems that specify performance standards for everyone involved. Packers will seek arrangements to eliminate the quantity and quality variations in the historical price-driven systems in efforts to reduce their costs of operation and to ensure access to the livestock that support consumer-driven product lines. Selling most slaughter cattle, regardless of quality, at essentially the same price during a brief marketing window each week will disappear. Producers' marketing strategies will focus on market access, on valuations that reflect the true value of their livestock, and on sharing in the profits that can be earned when consumers are well served.

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