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Focus Area 5 Components

Value chain analyses

The macro and micro marketing environment and forces driving the marketing of livestock products have changed drastically since 1994.  Traditional trends in processes are no longer applicable, whilst consumers’ tastes and preferences have also changed.  Within this milieu producers and firms must find markets where they can sell their products at a profit.  Research should focus on understanding the commodities’ and products’ markets better and identifying opportunity gaps.  This also entails investigation into up-to-date and relevant processes and structures that could support the supply chain from a marketing point of view.

i. A proper understanding of changing market trends, domestically and internationally:
  • To ensure and support strategic management and marketing in the Red Meat Industry.
  • To act pro-actively on changes in market trends, rather than re-actively.
  • To nurture better relationships amongst role players.
Risk analysis and management

The agricultural firm is faced with the management of market, labour, etc. Central to these management functions are decisions related to risk bearing.  Risk and uncertainty are products of imperfect knowledge and a changing environment.  Hence, sources of imperfect knowledge need to be identified and addressed.  

Risk management therefore considers the chances that the risk will occur and secondly access consequences given current risk management practices.  Research should focus on identification of the range of options for treating each particular risk, evaluation of different options, make recommendation on selecting the most suitable one, and monitoring implementation. 


Increased ability of industry to identify possible risk factors that could compromise existing businesses.
ii. Increased ability to quantify different risk elements and provide guidance accordingly to mitigate risk.
International Trade

South Africa has clearly demonstrated its willingness and enthusiasm to participate in Free Trade Agreements with other countries.  In addition, South Africa is also member of the WTO that governs international trade rules to which South Africa must comply, e.g. Sanitary and phytosanatory standards, reducing tariffs, improved market access and reducing support to farmers.  That will surely have an impact on supply, demand and prices of livestock products in South Africa.  There also exists a need to establish South Africa’s international competi-tiveness and to link it to factors that may influence it.  

This also involves, for example, the issue of traceability and it could be implemented.  It is vitally important that research is focused on such issues in a pro-active manner so as to guide producers, agribusiness and policy makers of the possible outcomes. i. Proper evaluation of policies and trade agreements to measure the possible implications for the industry.

i. Proper evaluation of policies and trade agreements to measure the possible implications for the industry.

Provide support to government during trade negotiations that involves the Red Meat Industry.
iii. Generate relevant and applicable information related to the possible impact and opportunities that may arise from globalisation that could support decisions by role-players.
Export Trade:
  • Enhance the state of knowledge pertaining to export, producers, regulations, market requirements, etc. to support management of existing and new exporter orientated companies / firms, as well as government.
  • Act as source of information (e.g. standards and regulations) to support government.
Policy assessment

Policy assessment is crucial for proper governance, not only for government, but also for producers and agri-business.  Policies provide the guidelines for strategic planning, but on the other hand could hamper industry potential.  Hence research aimed at analysing the impact of policies could greatly enhance the ability of this industry to function properly in a dynamic environment.

Also, such research could improve the ability of govern-ment to identify necessary changes in policies needed for sustainable development.

i. Policies which are conducive to growth and wealth creation in the Red Meat Industry, as well as protecting the environment.
ii. Continuous improvement in modelling systems to determine the impact of exogenous and policy changes.
(formal and informal markets)
of the emerging sector

Successful development depends on effective integration of technology, functionality and resource use.  It is important to understand the differences between the commercial and non-commercial livestock sector.

Understanding the differences is essential for efficient market development and research since the two sectors may require different approaches for wealth creation.

i. Access to information and removal of constraints that limits market development and access to commercial markets.
Appropriate methods to commer-cialise, empower and build capacity within farmer groups, for example: 
  • Capacity building through Continuous Improvement and Innovation;
  • Correct pastoral risk management as a result of the availability of risk identification / evaluation and decision support systems;
  • Revival of dual purpose beef and dairy ranching production systems.
Increased competitiveness through coordinated technical farmer support programmes.
Sustainable extensive and intensive production systems through on- and off-farm research and development.
Novel products for the second economy to penetrate markets and promote consumer health.
Alternative feed sources and alternative feedstuffs (e g. to replace maize).

Grassroots innovations that focus on bottom-up solutions for sustainable development that respond to local situations and the interest and values of the communities.
Technology transfer and training

The needs of the beef and small stock industry workforce should be anticipated to provide information, products, services, and educational material.  Innovative ways should be developed to assist with user friendly technology transfer.  

Research results should be captured in database and analysed and packaged in ways that will facilitate improved access to and dissemination of information. These systems should also enable preservation of valuable and important documents and work to ensure availability of such collections to current and future interest. 

Well-planned and managed information databases that is accessible. 

Production manuals and educational material on software, audio-visual collections and the printed medium.

Valuable livestock agricultural documents stored in computerised and hard copy format.

Innovative information products and IP items developed
Customised material to fit the needs of all sectors (and levels) of the Beef Cattle Industry.

Assistance programs and training for emerging and commercial producers. 
Integrated models for more efficient management

The amount of information on livestock production efficiency is difficult to use without the aid of computer-based technology.  This technology application is needed to improve management decisions and strategies that will yield the greatest economic return.  

Such models will contribute to identifying gaps in scientific knowledge.  Furthermore, since “organic” farming is becoming more important in the national and global context, relevant concepts and practices should be addressed primarily through integrated systems and modelling. 

Information and decision support systems for continuous improvement in small, large, organic and intensive operations.
Utilisation of biological and economic parameters in computer simulations to optimise beef production units.

Provision of decision support systems for managing climate impact and risk of livestock production.