Beef

 

Beef is the culinary name for meat derived from bovines, especially domestic cattle. The flesh of mature cattle is termed beef and is distinguished from veal, the flesh of calves. The best beef is obtained from steers (castrated males) and heifers (female cows that have not calved).The world's main beef producers and consumers are the USA, the European Union, Brazil, China, Argentina, and Australia (Agro Products (2008). The world’s five largest importers of beef -- the USA, Japan, Russia, the EU, and Canada -- account for about 70-75 per cent of global beef imports. Market liberalization has begun to increase demand for imported beef in a number of Pacific Rim countries (Agro Products 2008).

Within CARICOM, Haiti is the largest beef producer followed by Jamaica, Guyana, Belize and Suriname. Achieving export potential will require increased productivity of the sector and systems of production and processing which meet the increasingly demanding standards of animal health, food safety and food quality (FAO, 2002).

In the wake of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010 with many farmers losing much of their livestock, FAO and other agencies have prioritised the resuscitation of the cattle industry as part of an international response to the crisis.

According a 2004 study titled “The Current State of the Jamaican Cattle Industry” , commissioned by the Jamaica Livestock Association Limited, the estimated herd size in Jamaica was 66,500 representing 54% less than the 144,750 recorded in the Livestock Census of 1990. Peak production of beef (18.21 million kilograms) was achieved in 1992. However, imports quadrupled between 1990 and 1995 and beef production declined by 41 per cent by 2004, when only 10.75 million kilograms were produced locally. Therefore, while local production accounted for 82.9 per cent of consumption in 1990, this fell to 56.6 per cent by 2000. The number of cattle slaughtered annually reached 85,248 in 1993 but declined to 52,379 in 2004 as reported by the Data Bank & Evaluation Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, 2001- 2005. While per capita consumption of beef increased 25 per cent for the five-year period up to 2003, when compared to the period 1986-1990, this increase was driven by increased beef imports which correspondingly grew by 150 per cent. Table 2 provides data on the production, imports and consumption of beef for the period 2000 – 2004.

The production processing and marketing of beef in Jamaica is defined by 2 main groups. Firstly, there is the large, intensive feedlot-based production system which comprises highly mechanized meat processing operations and which supplies prime cuts to the hotel sector and supermarkets and lesser cuts to fast food chains. Secondly, there are many small farmers, some who use public lands for their few head of cattle to graze. These farmers sell their cattle to local butchers for slaughter and sale in local communities or pay to have them slaughtered and then sell the meat themselves. There are also traders, who are persons who select and buy cattle, then sell the meat to processors.

Data on the production, imports and consumption of beef for the period 2000 – 2004

Year

No. Cattle

Slaughtered

Production

(kg M)

Average Carcass

Wt

(kg)

Imports

(kg M)

Consumption

Total

(kg M)

Kg per

Capita

2000

60302

14.04

232.8

10.76

24.80

9.46

2001

60461

13.10

216.7

8.58

21.68

8.21

2002

63520

14.26

224.5

10.16

24.42

9.25

2003

66532

13.71

206.1

9.82

23.53

8.90

2004

52379

10.75

205.2

n/a

n/a

n/a

Source: Jabico Investments Limited

 

Guyana, being the third largest producer of beef in CARICOM, has been intensifying its efforts to increase agricultural production and target markets in CARICOM and further afield through public / private sector partnerships. The acquisition of a loan in 2008 from the Inter American Development Bank by the Government of Guyana for the promotion of agriculture through the Agricultural Export and Diversification Programme (AEDP) has seen the establishment of several services and institutions to promote non-traditional agricultural exports from the aquaculture, fruits and vegetables and livestock subsectors. Within the livestock subsector, there has been the formation of the Guyana Livestock Development Authority (GLDA) which officially came into existence on September 1 2010. The authority will bring into existence various new provisions for effective administration and regulation of trade, commerce, and export livestock of livestock products and all related matters. The programme has also facilitated the formation of several working groups to support the promotion of agriculture in the identified subsectors. Among them is the Livestock Working Group which has a Strategic and Annual Operational Plan.

 

The key targets set for the Livestock Working Group over the next eight (8) years are;

  • Introduce improved practices of beef production from 2010 in order to have at least 60 animals (22000 lbs of beef) available for test export marketing of beef from 2011;
  • Promote the upgrading to CARICOM export standards of private meat processing facilities in order to commence the market tests of prime beef to the CARICOM market from 2011;
  • Promote the establishment of an EU standard abattoir for all farm animal species, to be fully operational from 2012/2013;
  • Develop a supply of good quality beef cattle of under 30 months slaughter age and 200 kgs carcass weight equivalent, according to the projected requirements of the export programme, reaching 15000 head for export in 2020;
  • In 2011/12, commence commercial shipments to CARICOM and other regional markets;
  • In the first full year of operation of the new abattoir (2012/2013), capture 5% of the CARICOM fresh, chilled and frozen beef market at an average price per kg of US$4.06, which is the current mean value per kg of all CARICOM beef imports (this is 53% higher than the average value of all beef imported – US$2.65/kg). Achieving this price, equivalent to G$385/lb, is a major target of the programme;
  • Commence commercial sales of Guyana beef to non-CARICOM countries (minimum 25 tonnes) in 2011;
  • Achieve export sales of $2.3M in the first full year of the export programme (2013/2014);
  • From 2015, increase Guyana’s share of the CARICOM fresh, chilled and frozen beef market by an additional 3% per year, to achieve 25% market share by 2020, worth at current prices US$12.2 M.

(GUYANA Strategic Plan and Annual Operating Plans, June 2010)

One significant factor previously affecting Guyana’s livestock sector had been Foot and Mouth Disease. The fact that Guyana has been declared free of Foot and Mouth Disease, has protective measures along its borders, is represented at technical meetings convened by PANAFTOSA and has received support from PAHO in assessing the risks at potential hotspots along the Guyana-Brazil border are significant to the realisation of its goal to becoming an exporting nation in the near future. Guyana also hosted the 37th ordinary meeting of the South American Commission for the Control of Foot and Mouth Disease (COSALF) in May 2010 at which it reaffirmed its commitment to supporting other countries in the eradication of Foot and Mouth Disease.

The recent study done by Landell Mills Development Consultants on the promotion of a regional agribusiness sector, beef production showed a further 10.3% decrease between 2004 and 2008, falling from 64.0 million kg to 57.5 million kg.

Summary of Beef production by country, 2004 to 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

000 kgs

 

Name of Country/Region

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

Average 2004/08

Percent Distrib.

Antigua And Barbuda

150.4

150.4

156.7

157.1

124.9

147.9

0.2

Bahamas

11.0

11.3

10.6

5.6

8.4

9.4

0.0

Barbados

258.8

182.0

182.1

142.4

152.7

183.6

0.3

Belize

2,657.6

1,613.3

1,615.6

1,617.8

1,714.8

1,843.8

3.1

Dominica

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

Grenada

170.0

170.0

187.2

182.2

170.3

175.9

0.3

Guyana

4,850.0

4,629.7

4,773.0

3,746.5

4,957.1

4,591.3

7.7

Haiti

42,494.0

43,500.0

42,100.0

42,000.0

42,000.0

42,418.8

71.2

Jamaica

10,751.8

10,391.0

6,034.0

5,538.9

5,993.9

7,741.9

13.0

Montserrat

7.1

10.9

4.8

9.9

10.6

8.7

0.0

St. Lucia

...

...

...

...

...

...

...

St. Kitts And Nevis

139.1

110.7

85.9

114.1

138.9

117.7

0.2

St. Vincent & Gr’dines

363.2

346.3

292.1

204.6

237.2

288.7

0.5

Suriname

1,483.0

1,338.0

1,610.0

1,594.0

1,726.0

1,550.2

2.6

Trinidad And Tobago

707.0

606.0

415.0

423.0

236.0

477.4

0.8

Total CARICOM Countries

64,043.0

63,059.6

57,467.0

55,536.1

57,470.8

59,555.3

100.0

Growth Rate 2004 = 100

100.0

98.5

89.7

87.0

89.7

 

 

Source: Data generated from Country Statistics             ... Denotes No Data Available      Data in highlights are estimates

Despite this decrease, Haiti and Jamaica still accounted for 84.2% of total output with individual contributions of 71.2% and 13.0%, respectively. Guyana, Belize and Suriname accounted for a further 13.4% of the region’s production with contributions of 7.7%, 3.1% and 2.6% respectively. Together, these five countries accounted for 97.6% of the region’s meat production for the 2004-2008 period. 

Production in Haiti, Jamaica and Belize, declined over the period 2004 to 2008 by 1.16%, 43.2% and 35%, respectively, whereas production increased in Guyana and Suriname by 2.2% and 16.3%, respectively.

There is considerable room for development in the sector to meet the growing needs for choice cuts and value-added products. The efforts being made by Jamaica, Guyana’s development plans for the sector coupled with improved production in both Guyana and Suriname are indicators that significant efforts are being made to improve the subsector thus contributing to food security and possible increased export earnings for some nations.

 

Useful Links

Agro Products (2008) Meat and Poultry Food: Beef

CARICOM (N.D.) Agriculture Development Profile – Guyana

FAO (2002)Trends and Challenges in Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in the Caribbean

Jabico Investments Limited in association with P. G. Jennings Ph.D, Jamaica Dairy Development Board, The Current State of the

Jamaican Cattle Sector

PAHO (N.D.) The Livestock Industry in Guyana: Perspectives for Improvement

The South American Commission for the Fight Against Foot and Mouth Disease (PAHO)  

Partners of the Americas (2007) Jamaica Swine Industry: Diagnostic Needs Assessment  

Dr. Singh et al (2005) Review of Agricultural Policies: CASE STUDY OF JAMAICA

US Meat Export Federation Strategic Market Profile Strategic Market Profile: Caribbean - Beef

CARDI Fact Sheets on Livestock  

The Cattle Site

Drovers Cattle Network

Alltech – Beef Production and Functional Foods


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