Celtic Pride beef producers optimistic about future

Celtic Pride Premium Beef Scheme producers were told of “ambitious plans” to increase sales of Celtic Pride Beef to premium catering establishments in the south east at Celtic Pride’s annual supplier meeting. 

Martin Blackwell, of Colchester-based Direct Meats, told delegates about the importance of building a brand to achieve a “unique selling proposition”, as well as revealing that “imminent approval” was on the horizon to export Celtic Pride Beef to Singapore.

The results of a research project carried out by Dr Sara Morgan of Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), who discussed the outcomes of using grass fatty acids to improve beef quality.

Celtic Pride has partnered with the Welsh university in a three-year project to investigate levels of poly and unsaturated fats, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in meat finishing systems.

Research indicated that beef that was grass-fed – such as those produced by Celtic Pride suppliers – showed significantly higher levels of Omega 3 and polyunsaturated fats compared with cattle finished on other diets.

“The meeting was both productive and positive, demonstrating the value of partnership between the stakeholders in the scheme,” said Celtic Pride’s director and meat technology consultant Tim Rowe.

“Celtic Pride has and will continue to evolve to promote sales in the south east of England and beyond.

“Discussion points from the supplier day were pertinent, with a focus on developing payments based on quality factors over and above the conventional EUROP grid [a system of carcase clarification] structure and promoting the grass-fed element of the scheme.”

Producers were also given a tour across the purpose-built 31,000 square foot Celtica Foods butchery, where they discussed the variations on carcase weight and their implication on steak sizes with Celtica Foods’ managing director Edward Morgan.

“It is encouraging to welcome so many of our farmer producers to Celtica,” added Gareth Evans, Celtic Pride Scheme manager. “The cattle weight and boning demonstration was of significant value, highlighting the importance of carcase weights hitting the correct specification.”

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