Wagyu beef will earn producers £3/kg on a “no grid system” of payment in a new Asda marketing scheme.
Pearce Hughes, Asda agricultural development manager, told the meeting there was an exciting future for Wagyu-sired beef and hoped producers recognise the opportunities and become involved as the UK market expands.
“But we need to find out a lot more about Wagyu beef, and especially about Wagyu x Holstein beef, which is the main cross being produced in Japan. The marbling in the carcass of the Wagyu x Holstein is absolutely fantastic and it’s this cross we believe has a big future in the UK,” said Mr Hughes.
He dismissed the belief that Wagyu beef required “beer and massage” as an essential part of the cattle’s management and described it as “absolute rubbish”.
“This is a breed that’s going to impact on our beef market, but we’ve all got a lot to learn. We need to know more about how cross-bred Wagyu heifers perform and evaluate the comparative performance of steers versus bulls.”
Farmers were told that Asda had more high-spending shoppers than its main competitors and believed that Wagyu beef would be an important addition to its growing range of “premier tier” products.
Further articles from the Askham Bryan beef producers meeting:
‘Young Ones’ team wins Fantasy Farming league