13th November 2018

AgriScot Demo will Focus on Understanding the Value of the Beef Carcase

An interactive beef demonstration at AgriScot on Wednesday 21 November is set to highlight the value of the different cuts of meat from a beef carcase - both from a farmer’s and processors perspective.

The demonstration, which will take place in the main ring at 11.30am, is supported by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS). This year’s demo will be interactive and the audience will be encouraged to use digital voting pads will be to answer a series of questions around the beef carcase as it moves down the supply chain from ‘field to fork’.

Gavin Hill, Senior Beef Specialist from SAC Consulting and Douglas Scott, Chief Executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association (SFMTA) will lead the live cattle demonstration assisted by a team of students from SRUC’s Oatridge campus.

Douglas Bell, QMS Director of Industry Development explained that the aim of the demonstration is to raise awareness of the relationship between the management actions farmers take to finish cattle, and their impact on the rest of the supply chain.

He said: “Beef farmers are under constant pressure from tightening margins due to the increased cost of inputs, so by paying particular attention to market specification, and understanding what the processor is asking of them, farmers can maximise their returns.”

Douglas Scott from SFMTA added: “Farmers are an integral part of the red meat supply chain, and through this demonstration, we hope to engage the farming audience where we as butchers and processors can maximise the return to the farmer.

“As a butcher, I’m looking for cattle that have plenty of length along the sirloin and across the kidneys as this is where the higher value sirloin and fillet cuts come from.

“If cattle have too much of their weight in their shoulders, the carcases will have a higher proportion of meat that the butchers will have to sell as mince or stewing steak. These are lower value cuts and when buying carcases, you want as many higher value cuts as possible.”

This view was echoed by Gavin Hill from SAC Consulting who added: “Looking to the future, there is a drive to pay farmers based on the different cuts of the carcase, however, for this to be taken advantage of, farmers have to first know what parts of the carcase will yield the highest value.

“This then filters all the way back up the supply chain to our suckler cow breeders; if we are breeding cattle that will finish quickly, and to the correct specification without going overweight, we can both reduce the time and cost of finishing cattle. This will ultimately lead to an increase in the price paid which is a win- win for farmers and processors alike.”

Sign up for the latest news and views