Co-operative launches Hereford beef scheme

The Co-operative Group is joining forces with leading UK meat processor Dunbia to supply Hereford beef for its premium Truly Irresistible range.

Dunbia will source Hereford-sired cattle from across the UK through a Hereford producer group. The group will be open to all farmers who meet the criteria and will deliver development activities designed to improve farm profitability and to maintain a supply of high-quality beef.

The beef will be sold in Co-operative Food stores in England, Wales and Northern Ireland from April.

Matt Hood, head of chilled at The Co-operative Group, said: "All our fresh beef is 100% British. We have always been strong supporters of the UK farming industry, and our policy is to source and promote meat and poultry from animals reared in the UK wherever possible. This producer group scheme for premium beef is a great step forward, and will enable us to offer our customers a consistent, quality product by working closely with our partner farmers to ensure even more robust supply chains and traceability.

"With its acknowledged eating qualities, Hereford beef will be a great addition to our premium Truly Irresistible range."

Dunbia managing director Jim Dobson said: "This scheme from The Co-operative Group will create an important new market for Hereford-bred cattle. We anticipate strong demand for this high-quality beef and we encourage farmers who meet the criteria to take part in the Hereford scheme."

Richard Mann, chairman of the Hereford Cattle Society, added: "Hereford is one of Britain’s finest native beef breeds and we welcome this decision by The Co-operative Group to champion our breed as part of its premium range. Hereford cattle produce naturally marbled beef, which is succulent and full of flavour.

"This scheme offers a joined-up development approach and long-term commitment to the Hereford supply chain.  This will deliver both a profitable return for farmers and high-quality, traceable British beef for the consumer," he added.


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