Drought’s impact on beef — and beyond

Even if you don’t live or do business in the United States, you may have followed some of the disturbing news about the severe drought currently affecting the U.S. Southern Plains and California for the fourth year.

Simply put, the drought has had multibillion-dollar impacts not only on beef ranchers and packers and the retailers and foodservice operators that are their customers, but on the people in local communities deeply affected by closures of plants that often served as the lifeblood of their local areas.

With U.S. beef prices reaching historic highs, this story has direct relevance to F&B professionals here. But even if this reality hasn’t affected you, I encourage you to explore a powerful multimedia article about the ongoing drought, “Dry Age Beef,” recently published by HOTELS’ sister publication Meatingplace. My colleague Tom Johnston spent about a year extensively researching the piece, including traveling to many of the affected areas, and with our video and web design team has put together a compelling story illustrating that no matter how much science and technology continue to advance, we — especially those in the food industry — are still often at the mercy of nature.