South-west beef farmers can now get up to 10p/kg premium for animals finished under a new supply scheme with St Merryn Foods, Cornwall.

The Bonus Plus Beef Plan was launched recently in conjunction with Beef Production Systems, and will offer finishers a minimum 5p/kg premium over the weekly base price for cattle finished to the required supermarket type specification.

John Dracup, St Merryn procurement director, said:

“Producers have told us that they want to have more stable prices.

Last year we launched the Finest and Organic schemes, and we felt we ought to be doing something with the more commercial side of the operation.”

Dairy calves sired by beef bulls will be supplied to finishers, along with production support like nutritional and health management advice from BPS.

“Benchmarking and production data will also be available to all producers as a key objective of this plan,” said David Evans of BPS.

Red meat processor Romford Wholesale Meats, Somerset has begun trialling meat-eating quality in the hope of supplying many top restaurants and hotels.

The move stems from increased pressure on caterers to state the origin of their products on restaurant menus.

RWM is testing beef from 10 West Country farms through the Southern Counties Fresh Foods and Blade South West initiatives. RWM’s beef sales manager Matthew Barratt said:

“We’re only taking traditional finished stock, such as Hereford, South Devon and Aberdeen Angus-bred stock to mirror the eating quality of similar breeds used in South America.”