With blurred lines between how pets and food animals should be treated, concerns about the use of growth promotants and antimicrobials, serious questions about environmental impacts, and let’s not forget, the cringeworthy moniker ‘pink slime,’ the beef industry has its work cut out for it when it comes to helping consumers understand how beef gets to their plates.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the U.S. was one the early producer groups to make advocacy a priority, launching its “Masters of Beef Advocacy” program in 2009.
“We’ve been at it for a while, but we were behind the curve in terms of the consumer starting to ask questions about where our food comes from,” notes Daren Williams, NCBA’s senior executive director of communications.
“Sometimes I wonder if we’re making a difference, or making a dent, but I think we are,” he says, in this interview at the inaugural Canadian Beef Industry Conference in Calgary.
Williams joined RealAg’s Shaun Haney to discuss what NCBA has learned about effective advocacy, working with retailers, and engaging young producers in the effort to build public trust in beef production: