The US animal protein sector is facing persistent cost pressure, raising the need for effective risk management strategies and increased efficiency. Incremental efficiency gains will be more difficult, however, given a growing regulatory burden and shifting consumer expectations.
New technologies remain critical for future growth, yet adoption remains slow given capital and workforce constraints. Technologies that not only drive efficiency, but also create added product value will be most successful. In the short term, the industry will see the highest return on investment through better understanding the linkages between animal health and nutrition, genetic improvements, predictive management tools, and automation.
To offset the added cost of technological investments in a more restrictive US operating environment, the industry must continue to shift its focus from commodity production toward value creation. This strategy remains the most viable way to ensure a more resilient industry and allow for growth, but will require greater collaboration with industry stakeholders to execute successfully.