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Trends In The Irish Beef Market During The 199os: Identification And Analysis Of Change Drivers

This paper provides a brief review of the Irish beef market during the 1990s. It sets out to identify the key factors influencing beef consumption during this period and reviews industry/ government response to consumer needs. A number of factors influencing beef consumption are identified, including: price, safety, eating quality and health. In addition to price competitiveness, industry/government response has focused on safety and quality systems. Safety emerged as an important factor during the 1990s and various traceability, quality assurance schemes and supply chain partnerships were established to reassure the consumer. By the end of the decade such systems are a pre-requisite to market entry and increasingly the focus is on using these systems to develop and deliver product attributes demanded by target markets, improve quality and reduce costs. Increasingly, customers along the supply chain are focusing on supplier processes rather than product and thus less effort will be on product testing and more attention will be given to process auditing. In this way a customer can engage in a more strategic approach to purchasing. It is argued that future system development will evolve from a control/inspection orientation to systems focused on quality management and improvement that support competitiveness.

Author(s): McCarthy M. (1), O'Reilly S. ( 1)

Organization(s): Department of Food Business and Development National University of Ireland – University College Cork (1)

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