Beef Industry Competitive Benchmarking Study: Measuring the Efficiency and Productivity of Ontario and Alberta Cow-calf Operations

Researchers: Getu Hailu, Maury Bredahl, University of Guelph; Scott Jeffrey, University of Alberta

Research Summary

The major aim of this research is to assess the competitiveness of Alberta and Ontario cow-calf producers. The specific objectives are (1) to empirically measure the competitiveness of Ontario and Alberta cow-calf operations in terms of economic efficiency and identify best practice competitive management benchmarks; (2) to examine the effect the scale of operation has on the degree of farm level competitiveness of cow-calf operations in Alberta and Ontario, and (3) to compare the performance of Ontario and Alberta producers.

Significance of Research

Given the changes facing the beef industry with respect to technology, policy environment, deepening of the integration of global meat, or protein market, the new demand for grain in bio-fuel industry, consumer concern about food safety, and appreciation of Canadian dollar, competitiveness in production will be increasingly important in determining both future performance for individual producers, and long term viability of the beef industry. This study provides insight into performance bottlenecks that require investigation, gauge the overall scope for improvement, and provide a focal point for farm business management decisions and performance review.

As stated above, the study aims to identify best practices benchmarks for both Ontario and Alberta cow-calf sectors. Identification of the factors affecting performance within Ontario and Alberta cow-calf sector will indicate the potential gains to be made by reorganization of resource uses. Moreover, such information seeks to inform producers about the expected efficiency and productivity gains in the future period and how they may undertake actions to improve their efficiency and productivity. For farm operators, comparing their performance against their industry peers is important success for their farming operation. Study of competitive benchmarking helps determine areas where improvement is possible, and set the bar for them in terms of how good they have to be to remain competitive and viable. Increasingly, producers recognize that they must compete in the domestic and global markets. The procedure in this study could be adapted to any commodity within Canada.

Summary of Research Results: Yet to come.