Vertical Coordination in the Pork and Broiler Industries: Implications for Pork and Chicken ProductsAER-777, April 01, 1999
This report compares current changes in vertical coordination in the U.S. pork industry with past changes in the U.S. broiler industry. Recent changes in the structure of the U.S. pork industry reflect, in many ways, past changes in the broiler industry. Production contracts and vertical integration in the broiler industry facilitated rapid adoption of new technology, improved quality control, assured market outlets for broilers, and provided a steady flow of broilers for processing. Affordable, high-quality chicken products have contributed to continual increases in U.S. chicken consumption, which has surpassed pork and beef on a per capita basis. Incentives for contracting and vertical integration in the pork industry may yield comparable results.
Net benefits to consumers are not a certainty, but the "industrialization" of the U.S. pork industry could lead to lower prices and larger supplies of higher quality pork products because of lower onfarm production costs, more efficient processing, and greater control over hog quality characteristics.