As consumers place more emphasis on price and value as they fill their grocery carts, America’s conventional beef producers are helping ease the financial burden of rising food costs.

According to the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) 2009 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends1, nearly 70 percent of shoppers say the recession is affecting their food shopping — up from 48 percent in 2008. Consumers in every income bracket are checking prices before checking out at the grocery store.

“U.S. consumers are facing rising food costs in a very challenging economy. What most consumers don’t know is that conventional production systems and using modern technologies keep beef affordable,” says Jan Lyons, owner of Lyons Ranch near Manhattan, Kansas. “Conventional beef production significantly increases the volume of beef produced while conserving natural resources and reducing production costs across all segments of the industry. The result is more affordable beef for everyone.”

Conventional beef production keeps meat-case prices down

A 2009 analysis by Iowa State University agricultural economists Dr. John Lawrence and Maro Ibarburu shows if conventional beef production practices were replaced by organic- or natural-only practices, beef production would decrease by 18 percent and retail prices would increase by 11 percent.

“Conventional grain-fed beef production utilizing safe growth-enhancing technologies that are approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) makes beef production more economical and sustainable for both producers and consumers,” adds Lyons, former president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and past chair of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. “It’s an important message for the beef industry to share with consumers, especially after the recent misinformation about food production in America as reported by Bryan Walsh in TIME magazine.

“Contrary to the TIME article, Americans are lucky to have the safest, most affordable food supply in the world. On average, Americans spend only 10 percent of their income on food compared to 30 percent or more in less industrialized economies,” Lyons continues. “The technologies used in conventional beef production certainly contribute to this efficiency and affordability.”

Campaign includes customer-friendly facts about conventional beef production

To provide beef producers and other beef-industry stakeholders with key messages about the “eco-friendly and eco-nomical” benefits of conventional beef production, the Growth Enhancement Technology Information Team (GET IT) recently introduced a marketing campaign focused on the economical and environmental benefits of conventional beef production. The campaign encourages the industry to share the facts with family, friends and neighbors who might not be familiar with the benefits of modern beef-production systems.

The GET IT campaign includes both print and electronic advertising in producer publications, electronic newsletters and Web sites. Special-edition newsletters and videos also will be developed.

Learn more about the “eco-friendly and eco-nomical” benefits of conventional beef production.

The Growth Enhancement Technology Information Team (GET IT) is an organization of executives from animal-health manufacturing companies in the United States. GET IT was formed at the suggestion of leading beef producers and branded-beef marketers who recognized the need for a centralized source of factual information about the economic, environmental and animal-welfare impact of technologies employed in modern beef production. The GET IT mission is to