26 July 2002

Blue winner, red faces

THE beef championships at the Royal Welsh Show brought acute embarrassment for retailer Marks and Spencer when a Belgian Blue took the elite young bull championship sponsored by the company.

Owner Michele Wilde immediately challenged M&S representatives about their policy of refusing to sell beef from animals sired by her breed. Later Blues stood as reserve team of five champions, and went on to be selected as the top male/female pair of beef animals in the show.

Paul Willgoss, M&Ss head of agriculture, said the choice of breed accepted by the chain was based on taste testing done five years ago. He admitted that the breed had changed a lot since then and was figuring in new work benchmarking factors influencing each production stage.

"The young bull was a tremendous example of the breed, but our sponsorship of the competition is intended to highlight what science can contribute to breeding, and not to endorse any particular breed." &#42

Royal Welsh Show

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