By Boyd Champness

WHILE most Australian farmers lament Europes quota system for restricting their beef exports, they should take heart, because the real money is in offal.

Most Australian farmers would be aghast to know the EU pays twice as much for Australian bovine offal as it does for our quality beef.

According to a report in the Stock and Land, Australias offal trade to France, Belgium, Germany, Denmark and Sweden is worth A$60 million (£24m) a year, and, unlike the beef trade, it is not restricted by a quota system.

Tongue has replaced brains – following the BSE scare – as the most sought-after offal product, with Europeans eating 800 tonnes a year.

EU ambassador Aneurin Hughes told the newspaper that Australian offal was one of the most popular red meat products in Europe.

“In Europe, offal is considered a delicacy, and Australia has a reputation for providing some of the best in the world,” he said.

According to the report, Australia exports about 90,700 tonnes of offal each year, including 79,600 tonnes of beef fancy meats.

Asia remains Australias most lucrative offal market, with the region consuming 43,965 tonnes of Australian cattle, sheep and goat innards.

Japan alone pays A$9/kg (£3.60/kg) for beef tongues while the Chinese pay up to A$5/kg (£2/kg) for goat and cattle testes, which they use as an aphrodisiac.