6th February 2019

Free Meetings Help Livestock Farmers Ensure Their Stock ‘’Meat the Market’’

Beef and sheep farmers in the north of Scotland are invited to attend two free meetings to help improve their livestock selection and presentation for slaughter and boost their bottom line.

Both meetings are being held at Woodheads in Turriff and are part of a series of ‘’Meat the Market’’ events organised by Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) being held around Scotland. They aim to highlight the key factors that need to be considered to ensure that livestock meet target carcase specifications required by processors.

The first meeting on Wednesday 6 March will focus on cattle selection and the meeting on Thursday 7 March will focus on selecting prime lambs.  

Although each meeting will focus on different types of stock, both events will explain how market and carcase specifications 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 the events at Woodheads on 6 and 7 March will be given the opportunity to assess the weight and grade of a selection of stock in the lairage of the processing plant before seeing the carcases graded in the chiller.

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: “These 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 maximising profitability on farm, there are opportunities to improve 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.”

Richard Henderson, Livestock Procurement Buyer at Woodheads in Turriff is delighted to be hosting these meetings in March.

He said: “I see these ’Meat the Market’ events as a real step forward and am very pleased to be welcoming farmers and suppliers to the plant to be able to show them what we are looking for, so we can work together to meet our customer’s needs.”

Places for the events on 6 and 7 March 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 any of the events and for further information about the meetings please contact Heather McCalman on 07766 330 911 or email info@qmscotland.co.uk

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