New high-tech tool to identify genuine British beef

The Aberdeen Angus Cattle society has launched a bid to ensure the breed’s home-produced beef can be identified amid any imported imitations post-Brexit.

The society said that as the UK moved closer to leaving the EU, it expected a strong push to shop local and buy genuine British products.

To help authenticate Aberdeen Angus beef, and protect premiums for the product, it has embarked on a major project in collaboration with DNA tracing company IdentiGen.

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Underpinned by the technology, the Sire Verified Aberdeen Angus Scheme will verify the provenance of fresh beef cuts and processed products, such as hamburgers, meatballs and lasagnes.

The society has been collecting tissue samples at farm level since January 2015, and analysing all registered bulls since January 2018.

This has provided DNA profiles for each bull in use on-farm, whether it is a commercial or a pedigree sire.

Chief executive Barrie Turner said that the work with IdentiGen to develop the database will continue over the coming months.

“Once fully validated, it can be used in the marketplace to differentiate the product and instil trust in the authenticity of the provenance of British Aberdeen Angus beef,” Mr Turner said.

The sire verified standard, backed by science, will be made available to processors, retailers, food service organisations and trading standards, to monitor their supply chains and deliver truly authentic product.