When my buddy Derek first sent me the link to A&W’s better beef website, I really didn’t give it much thought. They promoted beef raised without implants or antibiotics, which isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but they did a pretty good job explaining about how sick animals are properly treated and removed from the program, and how it is raised without added hormones. The only problem I really saw with it is that they weren’t getting all their beef from Canada.
A few days later, the agvocates caught scent of it. The thought of being as famous as Dairy Carrie and her pluckezchicken campaign danced in front of them and they’ve been trying to tear apart good old Ape & Willies ever since. There are a couple major differences between A&W and Panera Bread though. First, PB flat out called farmers lazy. A&W has done nothing to question the integrity or work ethic of this nations producers. Second, PB used harsh imagery and phrasing to insinuate that all meat produced that doesn’t match their their standards is unsafe. A&W has done nothing to slander conventional Canadian beef.
So what’s the real problem here? I think it might be that we wait around, content with the status quo, and then when somebody comes up with a better way to market their product, we jump all over them. I mean, by this standard, shouldn’t all you Hereford breeders be tearing apart the certified Angus program?
Can you imagine where our industry would be if all the folks took the time they wasted harassing A&W, and used it to improve their stockmanship skills, or their knowledge of animal health or nutrition. Maybe they could even (and I’m going out on a limb here) use that time to learn about marketing and finding a niche.
I guess what I’m trying to say is quit your bitching, focus on doing your job better, and maybe one day you won’t need to spend all your time reacting to something on social media.