8 November 1996

Welsh initiative is strong on quality

By Robert Davies

MORE than 50 breeders and four abattoirs are now involved in a scheme to market pure-bred Welsh Black beef at premium prices.

David Coy, managing director of Welsh Quality Meats, one of the distributors approved by Welsh Black Beef Marketing Ltd, exhibited a range of cuts at a recent Carmarthen event.

"We are paying producers 4p/kg more than the weekly average price published in fw, so we have to target niche outlets that set very high quality specifications," said Mr Coy.

His Pembrokeshire-based company has won the Catering Butcher of the Year Award on three occasions, but it too has suffered during the beef crisis.

"It has been a very difficult year for everyone involved, but customers are being found for the extra cattle that are reaching market in response to the price incentive. Only beasts from farms that have reported no cases of BSE are accepted. It is clear some consumers are prepared to pay more for this reassurance."

Like other wholesalers, his firm emphasises the beef comes from a native British breed reared using traditional, grass-based production methods.

After a decade of using Continental sires, the early success of the marketing initiative is encouraging breeders to stop crossing some or all of their Welsh Black cows. Up to 28 cattle a week are being accepted. The majority are slaughtered and wholesaled by Cwmni Cig Arfons Caernarfon abattoir.

Until recently most of the carcasses from the plant were marketed to selected retail and catering outlets. But the group is now looking to expand by selling Welsh Black beef through a national food distributor.

The group has recently won £600,000 of market development funding from Brussels.n

David Coy of Welsh Quality Meats pays more for Welsh Black beef.

Welsh initiative is strong on quality

By Robert Davies

MORE than 50 breeders and four abattoirs are now involved in a scheme to market pure-bred Welsh Black beef at premium prices.

David Coy, managing director of Welsh Quality Meats, one of the distributors approved by Welsh Black Beef Marketing Ltd, exhibited a range of cuts at a recent Carmarthen event.

"We are paying producers 4p/kg more than the weekly average price published in fw, so we have to target niche outlets that set very high quality specifications," said Mr Coy.

His Pembrokeshire-based company has won the Catering Butcher of the Year Award on three occasions, but it too has suffered during the beef crisis.

"It has been a very difficult year for everyone involved, but customers are being found for the extra cattle that are reaching market in response to the price incentive. Only beasts from farms that have reported no cases of BSE are accepted. It is clear some consumers are prepared to pay more for this reassurance."

Like other wholesalers, his firm emphasises the beef comes from a native British breed reared using traditional, grass-based production methods.

After a decade of using Continental sires, the early success of the marketing initiative is encouraging breeders to stop crossing some or all of their Welsh Black cows. Up to 28 cattle a week are being accepted. The majority are slaughtered and wholesaled by Cwmni Cig Arfons Caernarfon abattoir.

Until recently most of the carcasses from the plant were marketed to selected retail and catering outlets. But the group is now looking to expand by selling Welsh Black beef through a national food distributor.

The group has recently won £600,000 of market development funding from Brussels.n

David Coy of Welsh Quality Meats pays more for Welsh Black beef.