Classification systems create excitement

Following AHDB's recent call for views on the future of classification, there has been cautious excitement among NFU members. Being able to quantify and recognise British meat quality in a new way really appeals. 

By aiming to further improve on the taste, texture and appearance of our red meat, the industry could complement the high welfare and environmental credentials our product already enjoys.

Bolstering the European grid with quality measures is a very exciting concept, which we hope to explore with learnings from across the globe – Australia and America being just two examples. Key components are ensuring farmers have as much information as possible at their disposal, and to tailor and supply the highest-quality, most consistent product to the consumer’s plate.

Enhanced genetic markers and best-practice guidance on meat quality are just two of the methods used.

However, a certain level of apprehension is present. A clear and transparent payment structure is something we’ve long called for, with new systems potentially allowing solutions or further fuelling the issues.

Before looking to the future, focusing on the basics is a must. Clear and standardised dressing specifications and weighing procedures, industry-wide price reporting mechanisms and transparent payment structures are the foundations for all this.

About the Author:

Tom Dracup

Tom DracupTom Dracup is livestock advisor for the National Farmers’ Union.

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