Certified Hereford Beef volume surpasses 51 million lb.

Farm Forum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Certified Hereford Beef (CHB) LLC experienced a record year of growth during fiscal year 2015 with 51.2 million lb. of product sold — a 2% increase compared to the previous year’s total. Since 2008, CHB LLC has increased beef sales by 46%.

Celebrating its 20th year as a brand, the CHB program continues to expand its market share and meet the needs of its customers.

CHB LLC staff, along with the program’s marketing partners, tout the advantages of CHB product in marketing differentiation when compared to other brands, along with the fact that it is a consistently tender, juicy and flavorful beef product. These advantages are fueling the brand’s advance in both food service and retail markets.

Foodservice continues to provide the most growth opportunity for CHB LLC. As consumers continue to prepare fewer meals at home, CHB LLC staff has worked hard to supply a high-quality source of beef to restaurateurs and chefs through distributors around the country.

CHB LLC’s foodservice division experienced a 2 million lb. growth during FY 2015. The following new distributors contributed to this increase: Cash Wa Distribution, Kearney, Neb.; Sysco Virginia, Harrisonburg, Va.; Crystal Creek Cattle Co., Ft Worth, Texas; Golden Gate Meats, Sacramento, Calif.; and Sysco North Dakota, Fargo, N.D.

The program also experienced growth in its export sales to the Caribbean, Central and South America markets. A new opportunity explored, implemented and becoming an asset to the program this fiscal year was CHB value-added products.

“Adding value to CHB primal cuts is proving to be a great asset to CHB’s bottom line for retail and foodservice,” explains Mick Welch, CHB LLC vice president of sales. “As our distributors explore what their customer base is seeking for home or dinning out, CHB LLC staff is paying attention. Our customer base knows their businesses, and as their partner we want to respond to their needs and offer CHB value-added products that meets those needs.”

The retail and foodservice divisions continue to build brand recognition through programs like the National Grocery Association (NGA) tradeshow and radio marketing opportunities.

As the demand for CHB continues to grow, the supply of high-quality cattle must also continue to increase. CHB LLC staff, along with CHB packing partners, are continually working to not only increase the supply, but also increase carcass utilization.

In a cattle market that is offering record low cattle numbers, CHB LLC continues to find ways to utilize as much of each carcass as possible to meet the demand for CHB. This past year was a great example of doing just that. A total of 336,147 cattle were identified through CHB-licensed packing facilities during FY 2015 as eligible from a live specification standpoint, while more than 235,650 carcasses were certified for the program — a certification rate of 70% for FY 2015.

“Although CHB cattle numbers were down, by increasing carcass utilization, the tonnage sold ended up higher than ever before,” explains Trey Befort, CHB LLC director of commercial programs. “Supply for Certified Hereford Beef moving forward looks very positive. As the Hereford breed continues to gain market share and more commercial cattlemen are using Hereford genetics, the supply for CHB will continue to grow.”

Since the beginning of CHB LLC 20 years ago, more than 5.3 million cattle have been identified, and more than 3.4 million carcasses certified to carry the CHB name at licensed packing partners. Continued growth of cattle numbers and CHB tonnage sold is expected moving forward as well as growth in the value of Hereford-influenced cattle.

“Our consumers have found the CHB-brand product meets their demand for a consistent, quality dining experience with a great value,” says David Trowbridge, CHB LLC board president. “Our producers, staff and packer partners work as a team to provide the highest quality product and continue to build the CHB brand. Our legendary story and high-quality product value will continue to provide our CHB team with unlimited potential to provide the pull-thru demand for Hereford genetics.”