Sheep and beef farmers around Scotland are invited to attend two free meetings to help them boost their bottom line by improving their livestock selection and presentation for slaughter.
They are part of a series of ‘Meat the Market’ events organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) being held around Scotland this winter to highlight the key factors that need to be considered to ensure that their livestock meet target carcase specifications required by processors.
One of the forthcoming meetings will focus on cattle selection and will be held at Highland Meats (a division of Dunbia) in Saltcoats, Ayrshire on Wednesday 9th January, whilst Scotbeef in Bridge of Allan will host a lamb focused meeting on Thursday 10th January.
Both events will explain market specifications and how carcase spec may differ based on customer requirements. Carcase weights, grading and presentation will also be covered to help farmers maximise their returns and minimise the risk of condemnations and carcase downgrades.
Those who attend will also have the valuable opportunity to visit the processing plants to assess stock before and after slaughter to see exactly how the grading process works.
The key speakers at both events will be George Allan and Adrian Crowe from Meat & Livestock Commercial Services Ltd (MLCSL) – a subsidiary of Hallmark Meat Hygiene Ltd., the only independent provider of abattoir authentication and classification services to the British processing industry.
Mr Allan said: “Both workshops should prove valuable for sheep and cattle farmers and help them improve how they select their prime livestock for market in the future in order to give them the best financial return.”
His colleague Adrian Crowe added: “The workshops will also give the producers an opportunity to learn more about the whole supply chain, the differences between different types of cattle and sheep and the hygiene requirements at both farm and abattoir.”
“Although focussing on cost of production is fundamental to improving profitability on farm, there are opportunities to maximise returns through careful selection and presentation of stock,” said Dr Heather McCalman, Knowledge Transfer Specialist at QMS, who is organising these meetings.
She added: “Presenting clean animals in the target specification in terms of weight, conformation and fat for a particular market can boost returns to farmers. There is also a chance to make use of valuable feedback from abattoirs both from carcase weight and spec as well as any health issues that may cause downgrades or condemnations. These workshops are a great chance to see the whole process and understand the buyers needs and the ultimate customer requirements.”
Gerard Kennedy, General Manager at Highland Meats in Saltcoats is looking forward to hosting the cattle focused meeting on 9th January.
He said: “We at Highland Meats are delighted to host the “Meat the Market” event on behalf of QMS. This live to dead event is a great opportunity for the whole supply chain to be involved with grading stock. We will also have the opportunity to discuss carcasses specification, animal welfare and market demands, factors which affect us all.”
His enthusiasm for the project is matched by Bill Mackinnon, Head of Procurement from Scotbeef who is hosting the lamb focused meeting on 10th January.
He said: “It is really important for farmers to understand where their end market is, so we hope that this meeting will help them learn more about the whole supply chain and help them boost their income by selecting prime lambs that meet current market spec.”
Places for the workshops on the 9th and 10th January will be strictly limited so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Refreshments will be provided. Those wishing to attend these events must be over 18 years of age and provide some photo identification.
To book your place for either event and for further information about the meetings please contact Heather McCalman on 07766 330 911 or email firstname.lastname@example.org