The livestock and meat industries are entering a
transformative period as to their future, with their members possibly oblivious
to this fact. Changes within an industry are usually the result of collective
actions, and all of its participant must bear this in mind when contributing to
Leaving behind the euphoria generated by changes in the political front
that removed barriers and distortions in cattle markets, the livestock and
meat industries are entering a new phase with lower growth and great
perspectives, filled however with questions as to what direction it will
I propose seven questions that will mark the destiny of our production:
1- Do we want our country to recover its position as an exporter or are we
to depend on our domestic market?
2- Can pastures hold their ground against the advancement of feedlot
3- Will the animals’ frame follow US standards or will it maintain the
current genetic developments?
4- Should growth accelerators should be included to our sanitary standards?
5- Will meat consumption remain stable over the next century?
6- Should we foster centralized market or limit ourselves to direct
7- How do we imagine the distribution of incomes within the industry?
These discussions must take place in the present, since they will determine
in which direction we want to go, given our preferences and the constraints
that a more interconnected world establish.
question is crucial to our destiny as a country, given that it will
determine whether we go back to our origins as exporters or become
exclusively dependent on the whims of the domestic consumer.
question must make us reconsider the role of feedlot practices within our
production system, and whether this quasi-industrial process should
entirely replace traditional practices or if we shall establish a mixed
format which values environmental sustainability.
question refers to our position as the largest British-biotype cattle,
which is a condition which is valued locally but limits our competitiveness
in the international markets.
question highlights a heated debate about growth accelerators, which result
in substantial profits for the producer but raise doubts about sanitary
question is an example of our fear to innovate, given that we will keep
limiting production out of fear of sustained consumption.
question, regarding the role of reference markets, must balance the
reduction in costs from direct selling with the benefits from the
establishment of reference prices which serve as a guiding light for supply
Answering the seventh question requires us to establish a
systemic vision of the actors within this chain: breeders, greenhouses,
cold stores, butchers, supermarkets, etc. We must look to make changes that
benefits the chain through cost reduction and not exaction by those with a
Surely more questions will be raised throughout this growth path, but what
it is clear is that what we have to do is face them together. We must
recognize our strengths and weaknesses, and know that opportunities arise
when ideas appear.