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Probably one of the most popular buzz phrases in U.S. Industry today is Strategic Alliances. Perhaps, we should take a minute to define what a Strategic Alliance is because we are seeing some indiscriminate use of the phrase.
Definition. Two or more independent parties combine their respective strengths such as their assets, resources, and management, which are synergistic with one another to form a vertically integrated alliance with the common objective of creating a much stronger and more competitive enterprise, which in its combination minimizes the risk that each entity has in operating separately.
I believe that in order to make such an alliance successful that you must first have a need. Let's have a State of the Union assessment of the beef industry to see if such a need exists.
Over the past three years, there has been 3 significant studies which probably best revealed the major problems facing the industry. The first was the report issued by the Value Based Marketing Task Force. The second was the National Beef Quality Audit, and the third was the National Beef Tenderness Study.
The Value Based Marketing Task Force, which was jointly sponsored by the Beef Industry Council and the National Cattlemen's Association, was a first in several respects. First of all, it was history precedenting, by having each sector of the Beef Industry represented as a Task Force seeking common objectives. The Task Force membership was made up of Seed Stock Purebred Producers, Cow Calf Producers, Cattle Feeders, Packer-Processors, Purveyors, and Retailers. I was privileged to be one of the Cattle Feeders Representatives. There was enough sensitivity as to the makeup of the Task Force that an Anti-Trust Lawyer was present at most of the meetings to keep us out of trouble.