These experiences give him a unique lens to this COVID-19 environment and its impact on the beef industry.
While 9/11, BSE, and the 2008 economic crisis were certainly disruptive, Hal quickly points out that this is the first time both a supply interruption and demand fluctuation are peaking simultaneously. And that’s going to lead to a change of behaviors.
How will leaders navigate these changes over the coming months and years? Hal shares that staying close to suppliers and customers is the key. Ask questions like ‘how forward sold are you planning to get?’ or ‘will you move more into the spot market?’ helps you get a baseline on market decisions.
And knowing what your customer’s customers are doing is mission critical.
So as risk tolerance and relationships become the focus going forward, programs have to work well for all parties. Measure, manage, and adjust together. It’s less negotiation and more teamwork.
As Hal notes, price forecasting is table stakes in the meat industry. But creating scenarios with customers to protect one another’s businesses is key and the results will allow all to survive and thrive through this economic uncertainty and the ‘new normal’ to soon follow.