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Bulls were snapped up by buyers with 100% clearance of animals presented for sale on Tuesday at The Northern Ireland Hereford Breeders’ Association Show and Sale in conjunction with the Native Breeds.
Quality was recognised by a packed sale ring which reflected a healthy £2850 average on the day.
Top price of the day went to Judge, Sean McKiernan's Champion River-Dale 1 Nero (pictured below right) for 3800 guineas owned and bred by Norman McMordie and Family which was purchased by M. & S. Crawford of Ballymena.

Reserve in the show ring commanded a price of 3700 guineas - Solpoll 1 Neon (pictured below left) bred by J. & W. McMordie which went to S. Cargill of Parkgate. Two more sons of the legendary bull, Panmure 1 Henry sold for 3200 guineas and 2900 guineas.

"Great to see such a demand for bulls, NIHBA breeders today have been overwhelmed by the amount of interest and enquiries received from prospective buyers who missed out on a chance to buy on the day. The quality of the animals shone through and that's what the Association strives for" commented John Gill, Chairman of the NIHBA.
In the show ring Judge, Sean McKiernan did a sterling job placing the animals which was backed up by the prices in the sale ring.
Supreme Champion of the day went to River-Dale 1 Nero bred by Norman McMordie and Family. This growthy bull caught the eye of Sean and is sired by 3 times Balmoral Champion Solpoll 1 Dynamite.
Reserve Champion went to Solpoll 1 Neon bred by J. & W. McMordie, this son of Panmure 1 Henry had the figures to match with many in the top 10%.

Bulls to 6,600 gns. and Heifers to 4,100 gns. at Hereford Cattle Society Spring Show & Sale on Tuesday 4th April. 

Local breeder takes the overall Male and Senior Male Championships at this week’s Hereford Cattle Society Spring Sale. Messrs. R.A. Bradstock & Partners, Tarrington, Hereford saw their 24 month old Free Town Mentor (960 kgs), pictured right, sell for 4,600 gns. to Judge, David Smyth, Magheraknock Herefords, Co. Down.

The Reserve Overall Male and Junior Championships went to the 12 month old Moralee 1 Novak (645 kgs) bred by T. & D. Harrison, Stocksfield, Northumberland, selling for 6,200 gns. to D.J. Deaville, Alderville Herefords, Belper, Derbyshire.

Top price of the day went to another North of England breeder, Mrs. Caroline Fletcher from Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria who saw her 25 month old Barwise 1 Mach One (935 kgs) right, sell for 6,600 gns. to Speirs Farms Ltd., Pepperstock Herefords, Luton, Bedfordshire. “Mach One”, a Superior Carcase Sire in the top 1% for Calving Ease and Retail Beef Yield, showing the importance of performance results now required by customers of the top bulls.

Another Superior Carcase Sire, the 26 month old Fisher 1 Monarch M414 (1,015 kgs.) demonstrating excellent carcase EBVs, bred by W.J. Hutchings & Sons, Chichester, Sussex, sold for 6,000 gns. to M. Shaw, Thornysure Herefords, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire.

(Left) Moralee 1 Novak bred by T. & D. Harrison who sold for 6,200gns.

A third Superior Carcase Sire, 24 month old Auckvale Masterclass 1472M (910 kgs.) sold for 4,300 gns. to commercial producers, T.L. & E.M. Clarke, Narberth, Pembrokeshire. Again this bull, with both carcase and weight EBVs in the top 5% and 10%.

The Reserve Senior Male Champion, 23 month old Danish bred bull, SMH Liga 107L (1,150 kgs.) recently imported by L.R. & A.M. Ayre, South Molton, Devon, captured the attention of a number of bidders, eventually selling for 5,000 gns. to local breeder, G. Blandford, Bosa Herefords, Bosbury, Herefordshire.

Somerset breeder, J.D. Moorhouse from Taunton saw his 26 month old Cato 1 Marksman (935 kgs.) sell for 4,000 gns. to Peter Walker Partnership, Pentry, Wiltshire.

(Right) Barwise 1 Mach One from Mrs CS Fletcher sold for the top price of 6,600gns.

Other leading prices included 24 month old Harveybros 1 McBeath (990 kgs) from Harvey Brothers, Balfron, Glasgow selling for 3,800 gns. to N. Davies, Crow Wood Herefords, Churchstoke, Montgomeryshire.

22 month old Fisher 1 Magnus M427 (840 kgs) bred by W.J. Hutchings & Sons, Chichester, Sussex selling for 3,800 gns. to W.S. Turner & Son, Church Stretton, Shropshire and the 18 month old Coley 1 Nelson (925 kgs.) bred by Miss H. Whittaker, Halifax, W. Yorkshire also realising 3,800 gns. selling to local breeders, M. & M. Roberts, Bromley Herefords, Hoarwithy, Herefordshire.

(Left) Fisher 1 Monarch M414 from WJ Hutchings & Son sold for 6,000gns.

32 Bulls sold for £105,315.00 to Average £3,291.09

In the Show Heifer Section, the Grand Female Champion, 15 month old Pepperstock 1 Butterfly N293 bred by Speirs Farms Ltd. topped the female trade at 4,100 gns. selling to newcomer to the breed, W. Shaw, Kirkby-Moorside, N. Yorkshire.

The Reserve Grand Female Champion, 18 month old Dendor 1 Anna Mary 32nd, bred by D.E., E.D. & A.L. Jones, Caersws, Powys, following close behind selling for 3,500 gns. to Mrs. R. Williamson, Wardle Herefords, Nantwich, Cheshire.

Upholding the success for the breeders from the North of England, G. & M.C. Shepherd, Woodplumpton, Preston, Lancashire saw their 12 month old heifer, Moorside 1 Evita 8th, sell for 3,100 gns. to P. Poole, Upper Battlefield, Shrewsbury.

Other leading prices included the 14 month old Fisher 1 Susan N436, bred and exhibited by W.J. Hutchings & Sons, Chichester, Sussex selling for 2,600 gns. to K.E. & L.R.C. Edwards, Chepstow, Gwent and 19 month old Fisher 1 Cherry N430 sold for 2,500 gns. to W. Shaw, Kirkby Moorside, N. Yorkshire. Also, 19 month old Normanton 1 Jurana 9th, exhibited by T.D. & W.T. Livesey, Normanton le Heath, Leicester, selling for 2,550 gns. to Whittle AG, Whittle Herefords, Lancashire.

(Right) Grand Female Champion Pepperstock 1 Butterfly N293 who sold for the top price of 4,100gns.

12 Show Heifers sold for £30,187.50 to Average £2,515.63.

A draft of heifers offered at the end of the Sale saw E.R. & C.A. Kirby, Buxton, Derbyshire, top this section with two 23 month old heifers, Tydesmoor 1 Minola selling for 1,800 gns. to Mrs. D. Watkins, Craven Arms, Shropshire and Tydesmoor 1 Kimberley selling for 1,600 gns. to Grove Farms, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

9 Heifers sold for £12,757.50 to Average £1,417,50

Breed Secretary, David Prothero, commenting on the Sale said he was more than satisfied with the 75% clearance of the bulls offered and an 87% clearance of the females, adding that it was also good to see that three of the top price Sale bulls were Superior Carcase Sires, demonstrating the importance of breeders participating in the Breed’s Performance Recording Scheme.

The Society would also like to thanks Sponsors, Farmers Guardian, Meadow Quality Ltd & Nordic Star Tags

Auctioneers – Brightwells, Leominster.

Herefords bulls met with a quieter trade at the Elite Breeders sale in Dungannon on Monday. 

Buyers were cautious and auctioneer Stephen Redmond had to struggle for every bid.

8 animals were sold however with the top price of £2,520 going to Robin Irvine, Whitecross, Co Armagh for the youngest bull in the sale.

Graceland 1 Nelson, an October born calf sired by Lowesmoor 1 Khan was admired for his conformation and easy fleshing.

Pictured right Graceland 1 Nelson presented by Robin and James Irvine from topped the trade for Hereford bulls at the Elite Breeders sale.



Topping the female section was Tullyraine Norah offered by Stuart Forsythe and due to calve in September. 

Pictured left Stuart Forsythe exhibited Tullyraine Norah – top selling female at the Elite Hereford Breeders sale in Dungannon Mart. 

 

The Restoration Man - Channel 4 Saturday 25th March at 2.50pm

Marco and Kath Walker have bought a pair of 17th and 18th-century cow barns from a local farmer in Wellington, Herefordshire, but the couple are restoration novices and the project is beset with problems from the start. Architect George Clarke offers much-needed advice and discovers how these Grade II-listed buildings and the surrounding land helped to revolutionise cattle farming in the UK.

Features our very own Hereford breeder David Makin, Adzor Herefords and scenes from a recent Autumn Show & Sale at Hereford Market.

Cast: George Clarke

Runtime: 45 minutes

The Midland & East Anglia Hereford Breeders' Association - National Beef Tasting Competition

The Tenth Annual competition to find the best tasting Hereford Beef is open to all Hereford Breeders from any Area Association or Club across the UK.

2017 Judge is Mr Ben Ternent, Executive Chef, Opus Restaurant, 54, Cornwall St, Birmingham BE3 2DE.

If you sell Hereford beef this is a great opportunity to have the eating quality of your beef assessed against other producers, and should you win, then you can use this success to promote your beef to your customers adding further value to an already fantastic product.

How will it the competition be run? Each member who would like to take part will submit a sirloin steak from a Pure-Bred Hereford carcase.
The steak MUST be frozen and the animal from which it was taken MUST have been killed within the last 12 months.
The steak will be assessed by our nominated judge, who will place the steaks 1st to 5th.
Comments will be given on the top five placed.
The following attributes, (in no particular order) will be assessed during the judging:

1. Quality of butchery
2. Fat coverage
3. Colour
4. Marbling
5. Flavour
6. Succulence
7. Tenderness
8. Water leaching during cooking
9. Overall eating experience.

There will be a charge of £5.00 for each entry.
Members can submit as many entries as they like, with each entry submitted from a different animal.
Ear Tag No’s will be required for each entry.

If you would like to compete please complete the entry form below and send a cheque made payable to Midlands & East Anglia HBA.

Entries close by Monday 7th August 2017.

There will be two Classes:
Class 1 for carcases hung for up to 28days from culling date.
Class 2 for Carcases hung for over 28days from culling date.
The actual tasting will take place during the second two weeks of August, so you have time to obtain a sirloin steak from any Pure-Bred Hereford that you may have had slaughtered.

We will be contacting all breeders who enter with information of where and when they should send their steaks. Don’t miss this opportunity, it could be the best competition, (financially), you have ever entered!

Yours Sincerely,

Alan Pittam
A. Pittam
Hon Secretary 


Beef Tasting Entry Form 

I would like to enter the 10th Midlands & East Anglia Hereford Breeders' Association National Beef Tasting competition.

Entries close 7th August 2017. 

Breeder Name………………………………………………….

Address: ......................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

Tel No: ..........................................................................................

No of Entries………………………………................................

Entry Forms can also be downloaded HERE

I enclose a cheque for £…… made payable to the Midlands & East Anglia H.B.A. To pay by (BACS): Please use Midlands & East Anglia H.B.A. Account No. 10074500 Sort Code 20-48-08. Reference: BT2017.

Please send all entries to the Secretary.
A.Pittam
38, Ashby Road
Braunston
Daventry
Northants
NN11 7HE

UK Hereford Youth Event Saturday 29th & Sunday 30th April, 2017 - Organised by Emma Smith.

Kindly hosted by Miss Heather Whittaker. “Coley Herefords”, Coley Walks Farm, Coley Hall Lane, Norwood Green, Halifax, W. Yorkshire, HX3 8RD.

Age categories: 8 - 14 15 - 19 20 - 26

Saturday:
Workshops on preparing an Animal for the Show Ring -

  • Grooming & Clipping and Show Ring Etiquette with a
  • Young Handler’s Competition.

Sunday:

  • A ‘question & answer session’ with Council Members to kick things off. So get those questions ready! 
  • Stock Judging Sessions for all ages. The Senior category will be required to provide reasons for their placings and the highest placed Senior will be awarded the prize of “Shadow Judging” at a Summer Show. A further opportunity to Shadow Judge will also be on offer for the Autumn Show & Sale in Hereford 2017.

There will be many Judges and Trainers in attendance to offer help and advice to all participants.
Prizes will include a ‘Goody Bag’ containing show products, vouchers & much more.
A lot of fun to be had by all.

On Saturday evening a Buffet Dinner will be held at Cedar Court Hotel, Huddersfield. A raffle will also be held during the evening, plus an after Dinner Speaker.

Food will be provided on farm over the two days.

Local accommodation can be arranged if required.

For further details contact:
Emma Smith on her Mobile: 07772 495913 or by email: emmasmith460@btinternet.com

We would like to make a request to Members, if you have a Newsworthy item regarding Hereford Cattle or Hereford Beef please either ‘share’ it with the Society through social media – all links are below, or just send it in via email and if appropriate we will promote it......

We now have approximately 1,500 Members, all of whom can act as advocates of our fantastic breed, contributing to spreading the message of how the Hereford performs on farm or informing the public where they can either purchase or dine on Hereford Beef.  

After seeking advice from two PR Marketing companies their overriding message was that businesses should maximise the opportunities social media can offer - it’s free and a great platform to highlight strong brand messages. 

If Members can get a photograph of a celebrity with Hereford cattle or dining on Hereford Beef then please email it in, as this will certainly increase exposure of the Breed. 

The Hereford Cattle Society

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/HerefordCattleSocietyUK/

https://twitter.com/UKHerefords

https://www.youtube.com/user/UKHerefords

 

Hereford Beef

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/herefordbeefuk

https://twitter.com/HerefordBeefUK

https://uk.pinterest.com/herefordbeefuk/




NBA Beef Expo is a true celebration of the strength of the great British Beef Industry and is the UK’s key annual event held on behalf of the industry. It brings together the very best British pedigree and commercial cattle. Hosted by the National Beef Association (NBA), the 2017 event will take place at the NAEC Stoneleigh, Warwickshire on Thursday 18th May.

The 2017 NBA Beef Expo provides British breeders and producers with an excellent platform to showcase the quality of their cattle, and visitors can expect to see some of the finest examples of British breeding from all corners of the UK. As the event will be the first of its kind post Brexit, there will undoubtedly be a focus on what this means for British farmers in terms of opportunities moving forward.

A major feature of the event is the National Commercial Cattle Show (NCCS) which will see, as always, farmers from the length and breadth of the UK showing the very best cattle from their herds, all hoping for a share of the £5000 overall prize fund. Alongside the NCCS, visitors have the opportunity to browse in the region of 120 commercial and educational trade exhibits, as well as specialist Breed Society stands.
NBA Beef Expo is a nucleus for knowledge sharing and networking. Trade exhibitors will highlight, through displays and demonstrations, the latest industry trends and developments as well as nutrition and genetics. Applications are now open for businesses, traders and breed societies wishing to attend the 2017 event.
Now a firmly established feature of the event is the Future Beef Farmer Challenge which was launched back in 2015 for beef farmers aged 36 and under. Entrants can take part as an individual or as a team and the winner of each section is presented with a trophy. The competition challenges entrants’ knowledge of the beef sector at both a practical and scientific level, which is fundamental to the future strength and success of the industry.

As in previous years, the highly anticipated farm tours will take place on Wednesday 17th May giving people the opportunity to gain an insight into how various beef enterprises are managed. This year the farm tour includes three diverse beef farms all championing efficiency in their relative sectors and showcasing the very best of British beef production. As part of the event the NBA will also be hosting a range of seminars and workshops held by various industry professionals.

Chris Mallon, Chief Executive of the NBA commented: “Plans for NBA Beef Expo 2017 are certainly in full swing and we are very much looking forward to welcoming farmers and exhibitors to the event in May. Following the UK’s Brexit decision this year, this will be a key focus as we offer support and help British producers who may have concerns surrounding this.

Trade stand applications, visitor tickets and cattle show entry forms are now available online on at www.beefexpo.co.uk, where further detailed information about the event can also be found.

Deadline for the National Commercial Cattle Show entries draws near

Beef Expo are set to host the Future Beef Farmer Competition

Alan McFadden made the headlines with his top selling bull at Monday’s Elite Breeders sale in Dungannon. Having made his sale debut at this event in 2016 with one of the top prices Alan was back with a full brother to last year’s entry to go one better by securing the day’s top bid of 2,500 guineas.

J.D. 1 Maximus is sired by top Australian sire Wirruna Daffy D1 who is one of the top performers in the Hereford Breed in terms of calving ease and carcass quality. “Maximus” was much admired in the pre-sale parade for his style and presence and attracted keen interest when he came to the sale ring.

Following closely behind J.D. 1 Maximus and selling for 2,400 guineas was Graceland 1 Mack presented by Robin and James Irvine from Whitecross, Co. Armagh. “Mack” is the first bull to be offered from Fisher 1 Jubilee, Senior Sire with the Graceland herd and he impressed onlookers with his power and scale.

The Elite breeders again invited students from Greenmount College to the event and following a short presentation on bull selection they were invited to put their judging skills to the test. Students closely scrutinised the bulls in the pre -sale parade, they considered the performance figures and Estimated Breeding Values printed in the catalogue and the health status of the animals on offer before making their selections. The winner - the student whose selections correlated most closely with the prices paid in the sale was Matthew Donaghy from Camlough in Co. Armagh.


 

Heading up The Hereford Cattle Society’s early Spring Show & Sale held at Carlisle on Friday 27th February at 3200gns was Mrs CS Fletcher’s bull Barwise 1 McCoy M861 (pictured right). Sired by NBG 69T The Wonderer and out of the homebred cow Barwise 1 Graceful G2. Twenty one month old "McCoy M861" (pictured right) was purchased by J & D Whalley from Ulverston.

Following at 3000gns was the Reserve Overall Champion Moorside 1 GBHS Motown (pictured below left) shown by G & MC Shepherd from Preston. This March 2015 born son of NJW 73S W18 Hometown 10Y is out of Harvie Ms Firefly 65P and he now travels to Herefordshire to join RJ Verdin of Weobley.

The winner of the Junior Bull Class Baldinnie 1 Fernando was the next best price at 2500gns. Consigned by JA Cameron & Son from Leven in Fife this bull was sired by Baldinnie 1 Orient and out of the homebred Baldinnie 1 Fiona 11th, he was purchased by Hendrie Bros Ltd from Galston in Ayrshire.

Averages: 6 Bulls £2765.00

HANBURY COUNTRYSIDE SHOW - BURWARTON SHOW - MORETON SHOW

Three agricultural shows in the Midlands are joining forces to stage a new ‘Triple Crown’ competition for showing cattle.

Hanbury Countryside Show in Worcestershire (Saturday, July 1st), Burwarton Show in Shropshire (Thursday, August 3rd) and Moreton Show in Gloucestershire (Saturday, September 2nd) will award the Three Shires Cattle Trophy to the exhibitor who gains the most points across all three shows.

The new, prestigious award, with a £1,000 top prize, is sponsored by Moreton-based Nimrod Veterinary Products manufacturers of the SELEKT cattle rehydration system.

Donna Renney, Nimrod’s operations director said: ‘We are thrilled to be supporting this new partnership between three of the best agricultural shows in the country. We hope this will be a great incentive for owners to show off all their hard work and their fabulous cattle.’

Exhibitors will accumulate points by showing their cattle at all three shows and the running total will be kept secret until the finale at Moreton Show. As well as the £1000 top prize, the runner up will receive £350 and £150 will go to third place.

Lynne Parkes, Moreton livestock secretary said: ‘It’ll be a bit like revealing the results of the X Factor for cattle! Our treble, involving all three shows, is aiming to attract some of the best cattle from across the country and we’d like to encourage handlers to compete for what will be the equivalent of a premier league title in cattle showing.’

Peter Kirton, chief cattle steward at Burwarton said: ‘We wanted to create a new, prestigious and exciting competition for cattle exhibitors. This is extra to the traditional classes for all breeds of cattle and we hope that exhibitors will enjoy and support this new venture. We’re looking forward to seeing exhibitors at all three shows.’

Richard Heath, secretary at Hanbury said: ‘We think it’s a great idea to form a partnership in cattle showing and I’m looking forward to seeing how the cattle progress through the classes at each show. It’s going to be pretty exciting by the time we get to Moreton in September to see who’s our first Three Shires Cattle Trophy ‘Triple Crown’ winner.’

Information about how to compete and the scoring system for the cattle showing ‘Triple Crown’ will be available shortly on the shows’ websites:

www.hanburyshow.co.uk

www.burwartonshow.co.uk

www.moretonshow.co.uk

The Herefordshire Agricultural Club held a Committee meeting at the historic Hereford House with most Committee Members having some connection with the Hereford Breed.
Club Chairman Bill Quan, Border Herefords, himself steeped in Hereford history with his Grandfather Mr W Milner President of the Hereford Cattle Society in 1957 and Uncle Richard Milner a past President in 1981 and a former Chairman of the Society from 1988-93.
Honorary Secretary of the Club Tom Nellist a keen advocate of the Hereford Breed attended the World Famous Vern Sale in 1966. Committee member Jo Hilditch of Whittern Farms and Herefordshire Cassis / White Heron Drinks (and of Dragon's Den fame) is the Great Grandaughter of Mr R Green who was President of the Society in 1893. Finally, Committee member Owen Whittall is the son of the late Laurie Whittall who was a staunch supporter of the breed, acting as a ring steward at Society Shows & Sales over many years, Owen's son CT Whittall is now a Young Hereford breeder, trading under the prefix Moccas Herefords. 

Pictured right, are from Left to Right,
Paddy Kennedy Ross Farm Machinery, Owen Whittall, Tom Nellist, Bill Quan, Steve Deakins Honorary Treasurer, Henry Chinn Cobrey Farms & Jo Hilditch.

After the meeting concluded the Committee kept with the Hereford theme when they met for a Hereford gourmet burger at the Rule of Tum, with Hereford beef supplied by Tom Jones.

The use of technology and performance recording in pedigree beef production was the theme of a seminar run for Greenmount agricultural students and hosted by the Glenside Hereford herd owned by Raymond and Stuart Pogue near Benburb.

The event featured weighing and scanning of yearling bulls and heifers demonstrated by William Tait of AI Services Ltd. William explained the use of weight recording to assess growth potential and how ultra sound scanning of fat depth and muscle area can be used to predict carcase yield. The data collected from on-farm measurement is processed through the internationally acclaimed Breedplan program. Developed in Australia this is now the accepted method of estimating breeding value in all the leading beef producing countries of the world. Contemporary comparisons are used to predict performance in the key areas of calving ease, milk yield, fertility, growth rate and carcase quality with linkages made to all recorded relatives of the animal to improve the accuracy of the prediction.

The students also heard about the role and operation of Breed Societies in maintaining the pedigree register, in directing breed improvement and building branded beef schemes. Robin Irvine (pictured right with Greenmount students), a past President and Chairman of the Hereford Cattle Society spoke of the growth of the Certified Hereford Beef Brand - with close to 50,000 cattle per year marketed through major UK retailers.
“The value of the premiums earned by Hereford sired beef is in the region of £5 million per annum at the farm gate and represents a very significant bonus for UK beef producers” said Robin.

Elite Bull Sale
Breeders are looking forward to welcoming the students to the Elite Hereford sale on Monday 27th February when the bulls which they saw weighed and scanned will come under the hammer. They will have a chance to view at close quarters the process of assessing and selecting a sire for either a beef or dairy herd. They will be given the opportunity make their choices based on visual appraisal during the pre-sale parade and on the published performance data in the sale catalogue. Guidance will be given by experienced breeders who will explain the use of Breedplan information and how it can be used to select a sire to meet the herd requirements. Calving ease has to be balanced against growth rate and carcase quality with consideration given to the production system and the end product in terms of carcase weight and grade. The students will be invited to rank the bulls prior to the sale and a prize will be awarded to the student who’s ranking most closely matches the prices achieved in the sale.

More than 80 people from the beef industry and research communities across Europe met in Milan on 1-2 February 2017 for a meeting entitled “Sustainable Beef Quality for Europe–II”, organised by AFBI with the University of Milan, funded by the UK Science and Innovation Network.

Following the success of the first workshop of the same title, held in Milan in October 2015, there was considerable support for a second meeting. The meeting was organised by Linda Farmer of the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute, Belfast, UK together with the British Embassy in Rome and the University of Milan. It was held at the “Touring Club” of Milan, in Corso Italia.

The goal of the meeting was to strengthen links and exchange knowledge between scientists and industry representatives across Europe on some of the key challenges facing the beef industry. Four sessions of short talks addressed four key topics, while two extended workshops invited delegates to discuss the issues raised and contribute their comments.

Rainer Roehe (Scotland’s Rural College, Edinburgh, UK) discussed the potential for the genetic improvement of nutritional quality while Aidan Moloney (Teagasc, Ireland) summarised the work that has been conducted to improve the fatty acid and nutrient composition of red meat. The session clearly illustrated the conflicted role of beef in the diet, providing essential nutrients and micronutrients while also posing a potential risk to health.

The workshop in 2015 focused on eating quality and the second session of this workshop provided an ‘Update on Beef Eating Quality’, chaired by Declan Troy (Teagasc, Ireland). Jean-Francois Hocquette (INRA, France) summarised work on combined data from across Europe to obtain more information on factors affecting eating quality and to determine the potential for a combined predictive system designed to meet the needs of the European beef industry. David Farrell (AFBI, Northern Ireland, UK) reviewed recent developments in instrumental prediction of eating quality and other important quality attributes.

Rod Polkinghorne (Birkenwood, Australia) illustrated the benefits of a ‘value-based payment system’ that rewards farmers on the basis of the quality of the meat produced, not only on quantity. Jerzy Wierzbicki (Polish Beef Association, Poland) updated the meeting on discussions held under the auspices of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) to agree a common system of terminologies and protocols to describe beef cuts and quality, to facilitate the increasingly global trade in beef.

The conference resumed on the second day with a session on ‘Beef Environment and Welfare’, chaired by Jonathan Birnie of Dunbia, UK. Tim Searchinger travelled from Princeton University, USA, to highlight the challenges facing the beef industry in terms of environmental impact. While Searchinger suggested that projected expansion to meet future population needs could have a very detrimental effect on the climate, Europe has one of the most efficient and least damaging production regimes. Modest growth and more efficient processes, together with a moderation of very high beef consumption in some countries could help to mitigate effects on climate.

Dequan Zhang, from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, presented the approach used in China to make maximum use of all parts of the animal, including bones and blood, to provide nutritional components of the diet. Ettore Capri (Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Piacenza, Italy) discussed a project on the “Sustainability of Meat and Cured Meats in Italy” which has considered health, nutrition and sustainability. He pointed out that, when considered on the basis of proportion of a Mediterranean diet, the carbon footprint of meat production is no more than that of fruit and vegetables.

Paolo Ferrari (CRPA, Italy) described a project to create an assessment system for animal welfare in Italy.
The fourth session discussed ‘Adding value throughout the supply chain’, and was chaired by Jean-Francois Hocquette (INRA, France). Jonathan Birnie (Dunbia, Northern Ireland, UK) outlined priorities to reduce variation in quality and meet customer needs, especially measurement and processing interventions that are practicable at meat plant speeds. Valeria Vigano (Sealed Air Packaging, Italy) explained how innovations in packaging technologies are changing the way meat is presented to the consumer. Ciara McDonnell (Teagasc, Ireland) described the benefits of new processing technologies while Phil Hadley reported that overall beef quality has improved but suggested that specification and trimming may further reduce dissatisfaction.

In the final session on “Findings and Future”, feedback was provided on the responses to the workshops. Workshop 1, entitled, ‘How can the industry help to ensure that beef has a positive nutritional impact?’ generated 35 comments in total, from industry and researchers. Terence Hagan (AFBI, UK) identified three themes which cropped up most commonly in these responses: “Communication” to clarify the nutritional benefits of beef, “coordination” of the industry in addressing the issues and “Omega-3”, the potential to increase these fatty acids in beef. There were fewer responses for Workshop 2, on ‘How should the industry manage the environmental impact of beef?’, summarised by David Farrell (AFBI, UK). In general, responses highlighted the need to make better use of what is currently available. Industry partners focused on requesting a higher percentage of European grasslands be set aside for beef production. Researchers were more interested in minimising waste and maximizing quality. A proposal for funding to the EU for a Thematic Network to continue to build knowledge exchange across Europe within the beef industry was outlined by the coordinator, Linda Farmer (AFBI, UK). The aim is to address four key challenge areas: “Sustainable beef”, Trusted beef”, “Meeting Consumer Expectations” and creating a “Connected Supply Chain”. The proposal will be submitted within the next two weeks. Declan Troy then summed up the meeting by highlighting five areas of particular interest: the need for careful communication of health messages, the importance of sustainability in all its forms, the need for an international “big data” approach on quality, the importance of knowledge transfer and the research pipeline and the need for more measuring and monitoring methods throughout the food chain. He commended the forum for bringing together a diversity of interests to discuss these topics.

The aim will be to continue the dialogue between all those with an interest in the beef industry across Europe into the future, so that an informed and consolidated approach can be taken to the industry’s challenges.

To apply for this excellent opportunity please click the following HERE