Brexit prompts AHDB Beef & Lamb call for carcase classification views

Representatives of the beef and lamb industry are being urged to share their thoughts on the future of carcase classification as part of a call for views by levy board AHDB Beef & Lamb.

The call comes as the levy board decides if the EUROP grid classification system is still the most appropriate for the market.

According to AHDB Beef & Lamb, the importance and relevance of the EUROP grid in communicating consumer and retailer demands has been challenged in recent years and some parts of the industry have expressed a desire to move rewards to meat quality and consumer-based outcomes.

Laura Ryan, sector strategy director for AHDB Beef & Lamb, said these challenges and the impending Brexit might provide the perfect time to reassess the system.

“With Brexit right around the corner, this is the perfect time to have an industry-wide discussion to assess the appetite for change in carcase classification and the key industry needs,” she said. “The beef and lamb sector has seen a number of changes in recent years and we want to make sure that, with a potential blank canvas in the pricing of cattle and sheep, that we help industry members have the opportunity to consider factors that are important to today’s supply chains and consumers.”

As part of the project, AHDB Beef & Lamb also reviewed classification methods used globally in Australia, the US, Canada, South Africa, South America and Japan, and has been actively speaking to key stakeholders to get their views.

Any results will then be analysed in September and a consultation will be launched over the winter, should the industry strongly support any changes.

Interested parties should submit their views on the following by Friday 8 September, by email to carcase@ahdb.org.uk, addressing the following questions:
•    Should elements of EUROP remain – if so, what?
•    Is there industry ambition to review both beef and sheep carcase evaluation?
•    What additional elements could be considered?
•    What other methods used have relevance to the UK?
•    How should we avoid multiple systems to prevent confusion in a post-EU industry?
•    What role, if any, should RPA or the government play?
•    How and who is to manage pricing reporting?

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