Monday, February 7, 2022

Rabobank sees bright future for beef

Rabobank is predicting a bright future for the North American beef industry, but expects bumps along the way and some major changes.

Meat-packing industry wages have shot up by 33 per cent in the last two years, so there will be increased investments in robots.

Managers will be trying to retain workers because it’s difficult to recruit and train replacements.

Rabobank said that in the short term, automation will focus on traceability, boxed beef transfer, labeling and beef storage, order filling and driverless forklifts, in addition to plant monitoring for energy and water usage.

Companies will keep larger inventories because they have learned during the COVID-19 pandemic they ran out if they relied on just-in-time delivery.

That, in turn, will mean they need packaging and storage that prolong shelf life.

Meat packers will want farmers to help them meet their targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by adopting carbon capture management practices.

All sectors of beef production and processing will be required to provide more documentation of practices and more third-party audits and verification, adding to production costs, Rabobank said.

Most say blockchain technology will be used to connect and pass information through the production and processing chain, but Rabobank said cheaper options may be available.

Transportion has become a huge challenge, from trucking to ocean freight and needs to fixed and modernized. But it will get worse before the necessary commitments to improvements and investments are made and it begins to get better, Rabobank said.