Morrisons search for more Beef Shorthorn

The search is on for more Beef Shorthorn sired cattle with a 30p/kg premium at stake to meet with demand from Morrisons for its Traditional Beef Scheme.

The retailer’s weekly kill of native bred cattle has increased to over 400 head since it relaunched its Traditional Beef range in prepack format in June this year.

“Beef Shorthorn is numerically Britain’s fastest growing native breed, it currently makes up almost 40% of our traditional breeds weekly throughput and so far we are really pleased with its’ offer,” says Morrisons’ Caroline Thompson. “Last year over 98% of the Beef Shorthorn sired beef supplied to the scheme was within our spec and received a 30p/kg premium.

“Our ultimate goal is for Beef Shorthorn to make up 100% of our Traditional Beef weekly kill, however in order to do so, we need to expand numbers considerably; ideally we would like a dedicated supply chain featuring farmers who are willing to commit their entire crop of surplus Beef Shorthorn sired cattle to specific finishers.”

Beef Shorthorn Society’s Frank Milnes commented: “Morrisons Traditional Beef Scheme launched exactly three years ago has introduced a very welcome boost for the breed by helping to increase the value of Beef Shorthorn bred steers which were previously regarded as a by-product. That trend is reflected in calf registrations up 41% since 2011.

“The additional steers now coming in to the system are commanding significant premiums in the ring from finishers confident they have the genetic potential to meet the spec and ultimately meet with Morrisons growing demand. It’s now over to suckler producers who recognise Beef Shorthorn as the functional suckler cow to respond to that interest.”

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