Brazil has become a giant beef supplier, leading its supply chain to be in the spot not only for volumes and values reached – which generate important positive results in socioeconomic terms – but also because of the sharp need to start a new phase in its development.
In this new stage, it is essential that several segments of beef chain search for actions that aim to increase quality – of processes and products –, allowing facing market challenges more efficiently and the maximization of gains, obtained, until that moment, especially by competitiveness regarding volume and price.
Promoting quality increase starts with defining the subject. Determining what quality beef means involves several aspects, such as nutrition, health, ethics, religion, environment and others that may form distinct combinations and reflect different priorities, according to the consuming market. The quality required by the Brazilian consumer, for instance is different from that demanded by the European, who had faced experiences of health risks due to problems with the herd, and therefore look for guarantees in this matter.
Another important question is that some quality requirements may be assured only by using methods and/or systems of monitoring to control different stages of the supply chain. This implies meeting parameters defined in standards and regulations established by specialized institutions. Although the traceability alone does not guarantee that beef and its producing process have the desirable quality, it is unquestionable that it is a key point for its management.
In this scenario, it is true that the quality of beef is not obtained at the slaughterhouse. However, it is also true that the responsibility for it is not 100% of the cattle raiser. Specialists in different areas, such as health, production and commercial, state that, in order to obtain quality beef, a connection of all participants of the chain is necessary. Quality requirements need to surpass beef supply chain limits, involving agents and institutions that interact and need to apply joint efforts.
However, it is necessary to build quality relationships among agents, with transparency and efficient exchange of information in order to obtain results that lead to an increase of competitiveness in a market of quality.