A new company driven by the need to bring together all things associated with Aberdeen Angus cattle will be launched this week at the Dairy Event.
Two of the company’s founders, Paul and Kirsty Westaway, together with their Aberdeen Angus bull Goliath.
The company is founded on the premise that there is a huge and unfulfilled market for Aberdeen Angus beef, and the livestock and production chain behind that end product.
Based around a website of the same name and called BritishAngus.com, the company will offer all British Angus genetic products – livestock, semen and embryos – as well as Angus beef itself, to a wide range of customers both in the UK and overseas.
“Angus beef is the most demanded meat world-wide and the British Angus in particular is renowned for its ability to finish efficiently off grass and produce both the flavour and tenderness that the consumer demands,” says Paul Westaway, who is a co-founder of the company. “We want to be in a position to satisfy that market with the British product, whether it be for breeding cattle and genetics or cattle for rearing and beef.
“I am not currently convinced that the prospective customer knows where to come to acquire these things, so we are setting up this company to become that one-stop source.”
As an Angus breeder himself, Mr Westaway says he has witnessed first-hand the demand there is for livestock, semen and embryos and already has international visitors booked to undertake Angus buying tours of Britain.
Other prospective clients he says are likely to be chefs and restaurateurs who want to source beef, or British farmers seeking anything from semen, embryos, baby calves, store cattle or breeding stock.
Lists of livestock and genetics available for sale, as well as a range of technical sections on rearing, profitability, meat quality and cooking, will all be featured on the website.
The company is supported by Blade Farming – one of the largest beef farming operations in England with 16,000 farmed cattle - whose managing director Richard Phelps says the industry is crying out for more Angus beef.
“Around 30 per cent of our volume through Blade is currently pure or cross-bred Angus, but I know we could increase that to 80 per cent - and that’s without any promotion, which we daren’t currently do,” says Mr Phelps. “For us, this means that we could process 400 more Angus each week than at present, based on the demand we currently have.”
Attributing the breed’s popularity to its great flavour and tenderness he adds: “It really ticks all of the boxes. For the farmer it has the lowest costs for rearing and finishing and the highest priced meat. And for the consumer it has marbling and tenderness, as well as the great flavour that comes from finishing off grass. Equally, everyone will appreciate its welfare benefits including easy calving and temperament.”
Ron McHattie, chief executive of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society strongly supports the launch and says: “This is a very positive initiative from one of our forward-thinking members. Anything that is market-oriented and high on service provision will definitely grow demand for the Aberdeen Angus in our members’ herds, so we see this as a symbiotic relationship.”
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