A new British cattle breed society has been established with the recent incorporation of the Wagyu Breeders Association (WBA) Ltd which will see its formal launch in Gloucestershire, England on 11-12 November 2014.
Wagyu cattle originate from Japan; the first exports began in the 1970s to the United States, followed by Australia in the 1990s and more recently to the UK where a core group of breeders, commercial producers, butchers and restaurateurs specialise in what is claimed to be amongst the world’s finest-tasting beef.
Building upon this relatively small but growing foundation, a number of breeders and enthusiasts from around the UK have come together to establish the WBA, its aim being to promote British Wagyu beef and represent the interests of its Members at home and abroad. The WBA has a five-strong team of Directors from the UK’s livestock sector, most of whom are Wagyu breeders. Purebred Wagyus are pictured above.
Wagyu beef is renowned for its high marbling fat which adherents suggest intensifies flavour and tenderness, with the fat melting at room temperature. Supporters propose that this is why Wagyu beef ‘melts in your mouth’ and is reputed to be the finest and most tender tasting in the world. The WBA also state that Wagyus are favoured for their easy calving attributes, so that Wagyu sires can be used over heifers of all breeds with a high degree of confidence. The resulting calves combine outstanding commercial attributes with excellent eating quality. Furthermore, they add that Wagyus are renowned for their docile nature, being very easy to work with.
An informal ‘Wagyu & Wine’ evening reception on the first day (11 Nov) will be followed on the next morning (12 Nov) by a series of short presentations. Subjects to be covered are: the aims of the WBA; a technical and genetics paper; commercial feeding and rearing; beef marketing as well as a cookery demonstration by a top chef. The afternoon will see a farm visit featuring pure and crossbred Wagyu cattle together with an ultrasonic scanning demonstration. Keynote speaker will be Rob Cumine, Agriculture Manager at Coles Supermarket (Australia) and founder of Clearview Farming in Pembrokeshire – a combination which gives him a unique insight into Wagyu genetics having been involved in breeding programmes both in Australia and the UK.
Says Mike Tucker, WBA Chairman: “I am delighted to be involved in this new venture and believe that the newly-established Wagyu Breeders Association can help British farmers attain a more profitable future and add value to all sectors of the supply chain. Our aim is to provide a voice for all those involved with Wagyu cattle and to promote not only a British Wagyu ‘BlackGold’ beef brand but to work on behalf of all those with an interest in Wagyu cattle whether it be pedigree breeders, commercial producers, butchers or chefs.”
Anyone interested in finding out more about joining the WBA or attending the official launch on 11-12 November should visit the website www.britishwagyu.co.uk
10 October 2014