Where’s the beef?

cow farm agriculture bovine milk

With the recent Brexit and according to the recent news article, Australia’s meat industry is poised to boost exports as the UK looks elsewhere for to sign free trade deals across the globe to cater to the growing demand. However, as UK goes hunting, this has provided Australia a good opportunity to further enhance our trading relationship with the UK who are already familiar with the high quality of our meats and produce.

Australia might be a small piece of the global meat puzzle, with Japan, the United States, South Korea and of course, China being the key export markets.  Being one of our biggest customers, the number of processors permitted to send chilled or refrigerated and vacuum packed beef cuts to China will more than triple which is already worth $400 million a year.  While we currently have limited EU access, there’s a potential where Australian Meat Exporters can really benefit from this. The EU imports 11% of Australian beef which amounts to AUD$2.9 billion with Brazil being the largest supplier at 32%.

Meat producers face tremendous pressure from tight product margins and external disruption factors (such as Cyclone Debbie) and associated rain systems that will certainly disrupt livestock supplies. The recent tainted meat scandal in Brazil will also mean price increases for meat due to the sudden supply shortage.

The question then becomes: Is Australia’s meat industry ready to meet these challenges on the supply end? What are meat producers and processers doing to stay ahead? What’s really keeping them from planning efficiently for the local and export market? Surely there must be someone out there who realizes that there will always be a gap between forecasted and actual volumes. The question we need to ask is really how we can optimize the use of the meat to, well… meet demand.

The meat industry is complex and I make no bones about it (last one I promise) as there are plenty of challenges such as

  • Matching demand of select cuts with supply and minimise wastage
  • Monitoring the SKUs
  • Order fulfilment rates from the meat producers to retailers
  • Shelf life uncertainly
  • Complex intercompany logistics

Perhaps the simplest answer is the ability to have cross functional visibility and smarter planning. You need visibility, planning and the agility to stay ahead of the competition, and flexibility and innovation to handle the different stages of the supply chain. Greater visibility across the entire supply chain is the basis for better planning and prevention of wastage.

At DELMIA Quintiq, we understand the supply chain challenges across all planning horizons and have effectively used our 20 years of experience to address them and delivering value to global companies and helping transform the meat industry.

So meat processors, are you fully connected to the meat value chain and ready to answer the global call to the question of “where’s the beef?”

Complex challenges keeping you from hitting the gold standard? Download our free guide to optimal planning in the meat industry.

This blog post was previously published on LinkedIn.


Chad Lim


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