TBC News

July 01, 2024

Power in Preparation: Safeguarding Consumer Trust in Beef

The saying, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail” can be applied to most aspects of life or business. At the time, Benjamin Franklin was likely referring to readying yourself for day-to-day situations rather than tackling a looming future crisis. Now, his concept is widely recognized by companies and public relations experts who stress the importance of preparing for issues. 

With today’s ever-changing consumer landscape, the beef industry is no different. The Texas Beef Council (TBC) is committed to protecting beef's reputation on behalf of producers. As part of a comprehensive strategy, TBC collaborates closely with state cattle organizations as part of the Texas Beef Issues Team to stay ahead of emerging challenges that could affect consumer trust and producer livelihoods. The proactive approach includes maintaining response plans, coordinating media training, and developing spokespeople to ensure any response from the industry maintains transparency and trust among the public.

Although it’s behind the scenes, this is some of the most critical work we do. Our collaboration with state and national colleagues is invaluable in helping safeguard the industry against potential issues.

Rachel Chou, TBC's director of consumer marketing 

On a national level, the Beef Checkoff provides access to state-of-the-art tools that help TBC and the broader beef industry stay ahead of issues. TBC actively leverages these resources to monitor and respond to developments that could influence public opinion about beef in Texas—from activism, animal welfare, and food safety concerns to the more recent outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in dairy cattle. 

Digital Command Center
Staff monitor in the Beef Checkoff-funded Digital Command Center

One of the tools at TBC’s disposal is the Digital Command Center. This 24/7 sophisticated newsroom serves as the hub for the beef’s industry’s monitoring and response needs, tracking all mentions of beef across television, digital outlets, and social media. Team members and stakeholders, including TBC, receive a notification when a topic hits a certain threshold. This allows the industry to react quickly, including outside of business hours.

The Digital Command Center is complemented by ongoing consumer sentiment surveys that dive deeper into public attitudes and concerns about beef. These surveys offer a valuable gauge of consumer trust and help TBC respond with appropriate content during a crisis. Most recently, the Beef Checkoff teams tracked consumer conversations about HPAI and its impact on the beef supply. Throughout the life of the issue, these digital tools monitored consumer sentiment which remained neutral and minimal.

“We know beef brings people together, especially here in Texas, and our goal is to protect and grow that audience of beef-loving Texans,” says Chou. “Looking to the future, TBC will continue prioritizing issues preparedness to maintain consumer trust in beef’s story.” 

Experience all the ways the Texas Beef Checkoff helps strengthen beef’s reputation at TexasBeefCheckoff.com.