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Morrisons Develops Taste for Beef Shorthorn

07 October 2014

UK – A supermarket retailer is pushing to stock more Beef Shorthorn meat, offering a 30 pence per kilo premium for cattle that meet specification along its traditional beef scheme.

The weekly native cattle slaughter figure at Morrisons has broken the 400 head barrier following the launch of the range in June this year.

At 40 per cent of Morrisons weekly native beef throughput, the Beef Shorthorn is the fastest growing traditional breed, said spokesperson Caroline Thompson.

Importantly, many animals make specification, she added. 

“Last year over 98 per cent of the Beef Shorthorn sired beef supplied to the scheme was within our spec and received a 30p/kg premium.

“Our ultimate goal is for Beef Shorthorn to make up 100 per cent of our Traditional Beef weekly kill, however in order to do so, we need to expand numbers considerably; ideally we would like a dedicated supply chain featuring farmers who are willing to commit their entire crop of surplus Beef Shorthorn sired cattle to specific finishers.”

Beef Shorthorn Society’s Frank Milnes commented: “Morrisons Traditional Beef Scheme launched exactly three years ago has introduced a very welcome boost for the breed by helping to increase the value of Beef Shorthorn bred steers which were previously regarded as a by-product. That trend is reflected in calf registrations up 41 per cent since 2011.

“The additional steers now coming in to the system are commanding significant premiums in the ring from finishers confident they have the genetic potential to meet the spec and ultimately meet with Morrisons growing demand.

"It’s now over to suckler producers who recognise Beef Shorthorn as the functional suckler cow to respond to that interest.”


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