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CATTLE TODAY

CAB CONTINUES TO POST RECORD SALES

The largest branded beef program in the world continues to grow.

Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) set a record in June, selling more pounds of product than in any other month in the brand's history. CAB moved 56 million pounds (lb.) through its network of licensed packers, distributors, retailers and restaurants.

"Pull-through demand is the core," says John Stika, CAB president. "We engage people at the trade level, and that turns the wheel of success. Our licensees and Angus producers have made this happen, because our business goes as their businesses go."

The previous record, set in August 2003, was 53.6 million lb. Stika says the recent record sales volume was a result of planning and the unique blend of "product, people and program."

"We can credit a combination of things," he says."We set ourselves up for this by creating additional demand and growth in foodservice and retail. We also added licensees that we didn't have a year ago."

A couple of examples are the 232-store South Carolina-based Bi-Lo Supermarkets and the 196-unit restaurant chain Uno Chicago Grills in the eastern U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Major marketing initiatives also help drive sales.

Trump SteaksTM debuted in May and these Certified Angus Beef® Prime products were featured on QVC in June. The popular home shopping network reaches millions of households.

The June numbers demonstrate the effects of industry-leading brand awareness and product availability brought about by established and growing pull-through demand, Stika says.

"We're seeing a growth in all categories, which is a must to drive carcass utilization," he says. For each certified carcass, about 273 lb. of cuts are sold as CAB brand products. "That's a strong showing for demand."     

The Value-Added Products Division eclipsed its March record-high volume month by more than 90,000 lb. The 1.56 million-lb. June was an increase of 21.6 percent over the same month in 2006.

"We're dealing with the highest quality product, in volume, in the marketplace," he says. "In a market that has growing demand for high quality and lesser demand for lower quality, the our brand is positioned very nicely for success."

So far, in the 2006-07 fiscal year ending in October, the retail, foodservice and international divisions all show increased pounds sold over the previous year.

International brings the biggest increase, with Canadian and Mexican markets leading the charge. Global sales have spiked 40.5 percent over the previous year-to-date figures. In June, alone, they accounted for 4.3 million lb. of total CAB products sold.

"We have exceeded 50 million pounds sold in March, May and June," Stika notes. "It looks to be an exceptional July, and with continued strength in August and September, the prospect of a record year isn't out of the question."

Certified Angus Beef® is the world's leading brand of fresh beef. Since 1997, packers have paid producers more than $200 million in value-based grid premiums for cattle accepted into the brand. For producer information, visit www.CABpartners.com; or for consumer information, www.certifiedangusbeef.com.

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