Checkoff extends Hispanic outreach

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Mar 14, 2005
by WLJ
The Beef Checkoff Program’s continuing effort to provide product information to the Hispanic market in the United States achieved a milestone with the publication of a new, Spanish-language version of the Beef Made Easy Meat Cut Chart.
The Beef Made Easy Meat Cut Chart was first developed in 1999 through the support of the Beef Checkoff Program, as a reference tool to meet the needs of both consumers and retailers. Development and promotion of the Beef Made Easy Meat Cut Chart is coordinated on behalf of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and state beef councils by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). The NCBA serves as one of the Beef Board’s contractors for checkoff-funded programs. The California Beef Council and the Texas Beef Council were major drivers in the publication of the Spanish-language Meat Cut Chart.
“The Spanish-language Meat Cut Chart is a real hit, and an incredibly useful tool for retailers and consumers,” said Virginia Coelho, a Cattlemen’s Beef Board member who also chairs both the California Beef Council and the beef industry’s Mark of Quality Commission. “The Hispanic market is not only growing rapidly in size but also with regard to income and its influence on marketing strategies for all retail industries. It’s also a community that is rapidly evolving in terms of tastes and lifestyle, and we simply can’t approach it the same way we did years ago.”
At a beef industry issues forum on demographics during the 2005 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show, experts estimated that the Hispanic population in the United States will grow to more than 50 million by 2015. They projected the Hispanic market’s buying power will rise to $926 billion by 2007, up nearly 60 percent from $581 billion in 2002. By 2007, its buying power will represent nearly 10 percent of total domestic expenditures.
One the challenges faced in publishing a Spanish-language Meat Cut Chart is that the terminology differs throughout Latin America, across different regions of Mexico, and even among Hispanic communities within the United States. Coelho is hopeful that publication of the Spanish-language Beef Made Easy Meat Cut Chart will be a major step in bringing some uniformity and familiarity to the beef industry’s Hispanic outreach, but added that much work is still to be done.
“Expanding the Beef Made Easy Meat Cut Chart to include a Spanish-language version is a very significant step in the right direction,” Coelho said. “But this effort is going to require an ongoing commitment not only to language translation but also to listening to the Hispanic community and better understanding the needs of its retailers and consumers.” — WLJ