19 January 2001

Beef rights withdrawn

A NEW twist has developed in the saga over the promotion of Aberdeen-Angus sired beef.

The Aberdeen-Angus producer group has registered a new logo and marketing scheme – called the Authentic Aberdeen Angus – to help its members retain premiums, which it claims amounted to £920,000 last year.

These premiums were negotiated through the groups management of the Certified Aberdeen-Angus Beef scheme, which is owned by the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society. But the society has withdrawn the producer groups management rights from December 2001.

Jim Ironside, chairman of the producer group, said it had to act to safeguard interests of its 1270 members, following the societys decision to finish the agreement.

"We have developed a new brand that will get money back to the commercial farmers we represent." The new scheme will use DNA technology to ensure that only Angus bulls registered for use by its members are sires of beef sold under this label.

Mr Ironside said four wholesalers are already on board.

Surprisingly, the breed society has welcomed the initiative. &#42