7 June 2002

ABPcuts grading confusion

BEEF processor ABP is considering a scheme that would give suppliers of cattle to its plants a live weight in addition to carcass weight to try to remove some of the confusion surrounding deadweight grading.

The company confirmed this week that it has run a pilot scheme at its Shrewsbury, Shropshire, plant to see if producers benefited from the extra data.

It is hoped that by highlighting the actual live weight of cattle entering slaughter lines, producers may understand better the degree of weight loss experienced by some cattle between the farms weigh crush and arrival at the slaughter line, said a spokesman for the company.

NFUwelcome

Richard Haddock, deputy chairman of the National Farmers Unions Livestock Committee believes the proposed scheme is good news. "We welcome this (potential) development because it will mean farmers can see killing out percentages and also work out what the price per kg live would have been. That would help compare prices received on a deadweight basis with those in the live auction markets.

"In the long run it should help improve feedback from abattoir to farmer and develop the trust we are told we need along the food chain," said Mr Haddock.

ABP is keen to stress that it sees no need to compare its plant payments to those paid in live auctions.

The move is solely to help producers understand how they can boost returns when selling direct into the abattoir chain, said a spokesman. &#42