Despite a U.S. economic downturn and resulting depressed beef demand, Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC experienced growth in the marketplace and added new team members to increase opportunities during fiscal year (FY) 2009.
CHB LLC packing partners National Beef Packing Co. LLC and Greater Omaha Packing Co. Inc. harvested 379,282 CHB-eligible cattle and certified 250,266 total carcasses during FY 2009. A total of 36,810,360 lb. was marketed as Certified Hereford Beef®, which is up 900,000 lb., or about 2.5% compared to last year.
American Hereford Association Executive Vice President Craig Huffhines says, “CHB LLC found ample opportunities for new business relationships and new growth in the program this year. A new management team led by beef marketing veteran Tom LeBeau has positioned CHB LLC for unique possibilities.”
In FY 2009, CHB LLC staff launched two large foodservice distributor companies across the eastern U.S. Sysco Food Service distributors and Merchants Foodservice began distributing CHB products in nine states, adding approximately 900 new sales people to the program.
These new distributors aided the program in establishing 29% more restaurant business, bringing total restaurant sales to more than 5.5 million lb.
In addition to growth in distribution channels, CHB LLC has been working on value-added concepts. A case-ready beef program was developed with Superior Farms, Boston, Mass. Also developed by CHB LLC staff along with Klement’s Co., Milwaukee, Wis., is an all-beef Chicago style hot dog. “The goal of this high-quality beef frank program is to utilize a higher percentage of carcass trimming, gaining a better carcass utilization, with the added bonus of a new profit center for CHB LLC,” Huffhines says.
Also during FY 2009, Hereford Verified (HV) saw an increase in marketings. HV is the AHA’s traceable program for Hereford-influenced calves that provides producer bonuses and data on cattle that meet CHB requirements. During the year, 15,940 head were certified and marketed through the program, up 30% from last year.