VION Launches Grading Day Initiative

UK - VION Food UK recently held the first of what will be regular producer grading days at its St Merryn Foods processing plant in Bodmin in Cornwall.
calendar icon 13 June 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

The Grading day initiative sees farmers who supply beef to St Merryn Foods invited to the plant to assess beef cattle in the lairage.

This is followed by the chance to inspect the beef in carcase form following processing.

Expert independent tuition is provided by professional assessors from Meat and Livestock Commission carcase Services (MLCCS), with the main aim of the grading day being to help improve the farmers’ understanding of what a processor requires from the cattle they supply.

The opportunity for producers who supply VION to attend a grading day is the result of the close working relationship between the company and the industry levy board EBLEX (English Beef and Lamb Executive). The first producers to attend a grading day belonged to Cornwall Quality Livestock Producers (CQLP) – a farmer-owned marketing group with whom St Merryn Foods has a long and well-established relationship.

VION Livestock Director, John Dracup said: “We are very pleased to launch this new initiative and look forward to holding grading days on a regular basis.

"These events offer beef producers a unique opportunity to improve their understanding of the beef they produce, and what is required by today’s consumers in terms of the finished product. As a processor of beef it is also very important that we work hard to further develop strong, transparent and mutually beneficial relationships with the local beef farmers who are vital to our business. We are particularly pleased that members of CQLP could participate in the first of these events, and look forward to this being a successful and long-running initiative.”

EBLEX Southern Region Manager, Dr Phil Hadley said: “Understanding market specifications for finished stock is vital. This allows producers to ensure the best quality product will reach the consumer, and achieve its full potential by meeting the market needs. EBLEX is delighted to have access to VION’s St Merryn Foods plant at Bodmin for these grading days, where producers can see and understand the market specifications for stock, and hone their selections skills to match cattle to them.”

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