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The use of market intelligence and producer decision-making as a driver of industry competitiveness: A producer perspective on the Canadian and Irish beef industries

  • Author / Creator
    Witte, Johanna
  • The Canadian and Irish beef industries are facing numerous challenges ranging from domestic consumer concerns, margin pressures, uncertainties around new trade agreements and developments in key export markets. These issues present competitive threats but also offer potential new opportunities to the overall industries and individual beef producers. This thesis focuses on the use of market intelligence, i.e. the knowledge of external market factors that can affect current and future consumer demands and preferences, and how it plays a role in enabling both the overall industries and individual producers to turn challenges into competitive advantages, thereby responding to the previously mentioned external market factors. In this context, a deeper understanding is valuable of how market intelligence influences producer and industry’s collective decision-making, as both are critical to strengthening the overall industry’s competitive position. To that end, a conceptual model based on the market orientation literature has been designed and turned into a measurement tool for the industry’s competitiveness level. Data that served as input to this measurement indicator was generated using online surveys distributed among beef producers in Western Canada and Ireland and focused on their perception of external market factors, the use of market intelligence within their industry and their own decision-making processes. A more exploratory analysis was performed due to limited sample sizes. General results indicate that, according to producers, external market factors like consumer demand for specific attributes and production systems as well as trade agreements and EU regulations play an important role in the industries’ competitive position. Both industries can be characterized as supply-driven, while the Canadian beef industry has a commodity nature and the Irish beef industry is affected by policy forces. Likewise, although both industries make use of market intelligence to a certain extent and have strategies in place to deal with above-mentioned challenges, both beef industries could more actively respond to ongoing market developments. However, both industries are subject to a relatively high average of producers, resulting in limited opportunities to fulfill export and domestic consumer demand and adoption of new production practices and technologies. Recommendations for the Canadian beef industry therefore include increasing alignment among its production segments and improving programs for young beef producers to enter the industry. Recommendations for the Irish beef industry include to improve alignment between the production segments and the processors to solve an existing disconnect within the industry, and to increase productivity by consolidating its suckler cow segment to ensure a sustainable profitability level.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2018-11
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R3SB3XF31
  • License
    Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.