Enhancing the relationship between the beef cattle farmer and the meat processor
By Ronnie P. Cons
Beef Processors want and need a consistent supply of dependable high-quality beef to supply to their distributors and retailers. In order to achieve this, many processors have contracts with multiple beef cattle farmers who together supply the needs of the processor.
Establishing trust and communication between the farm and the processor will help ensure that the processor receives their expected quantities and quality of beef from their cattle suppliers. An open and trusting relationship between the farmer and the processor will motivate the farmer to produce higher-quality cattle as they will feel more like an important partner with the processor than just the “50th” supplier. Thus the processor must make sure to develop and work on the relationships he has with the farms. They must develop communication channels and make sure to give positive feedback and encouragement to farmers for supplying high-quality beef cattle. Open lines of communication will allow farmers to express any complaints or concerns they have as a supplier. This way problems will be solved before they become worse. Managers of farms should be encouraged to report potential supply problems or other issues on the farm that can impact supply, so that processors can be prepared. Of course the farmer must feel confident that they will only gain by this openness.
In this article we will elaborate on one method of enhancing trust and communication – specifically that the processor and the farmer should contribute to similar worthy causes. This will lead to a closer and more trusting partnership-oriented relationship which will encourage the supplier to maintain higher quality. Below are details of implementation:
The above steps and contribution should be repeated yearly to reinforce the relationship.
The result of this easy-to-implement program will be a closer and more productive relationship. In addition, the processor will now have a beef cattle supplier who feels like a true and appreciated partner with the processor. This should encourage the farm management and employees to work even harder to maintain the quality and quantity of the beef cattle supplied to the processor.
A happier and more productive relationship is all for a good cause. A true win-win situation!