LIMOUSIN 2006++indd

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n April 2006 Mr Manie Booysen, CEO of SAMIC, invited Dr Michael Bradfield and John Devonport to visit their offices and have some lunch. We were fortunate to meet Mr George Ferreira and Mr Mark Calitz, the meat manager and category buyer from SPAR.

A lively discussion was held and we all agreed that the most important player was the consumer. For the beef industry to be successful, the consumers’ needs and wants are paramount. From the Limousin point of view, we suggested that the consumer wanted less fat and cholesterol. In addition, there was no reward for the Limousin’s excellent meat / bone / ratio. From the consumers’ point of view, “tenderness” was the number one priority and this was not negotiable. Tenderness is classified as follows:

AGE 0 Teeth 1-2 Teeth 3-6 Teeth > 6 Teeth

CLASS A AB B C Most tender Tender Less tender Least tender

The “Carcase Competition” gives guidance to the producer and comprises three criteria, namely Carcase Size (10%), Fatness (75%) and Conformation (15%). A wonderful lunch was held and we all enjoyed each other’s company. As we were leaving, Manie Booysen said, “Watch this space”! Our president, Siegfriedt Naude, attended the SAMIC function in August, which awarded the National Carcase Competition, for 2006. An Angus Cross carcase won. Some great news was announced at this function in that the carcase competition criteria would be changing, because of consumer preferences. Rudi van der Westhuizen explained that he noticed that the price of A1’s was trending upwards and the price of A3’s was trending downwards. This indicated that the consumer wanted less fat. In addition, Pick ‘n Pay and Woolworths are deboning and prepacking the meat. Retailers require less bone and more meat to sell. They do not want to trim excess fat off the carcase, as this is wasteful and inefficient. Because the deboning trend by retailers will increase in the future, it will become important to reward the efficient animal with less fat wastage and more meat.



A problem the Limousins have is how to reward the producer with good conformation? Meat standards in Australia have worked out the “Retail Beef Yield” system that rewards the producer based on the quality and quantity of meat, paid for by the consumer. Surely this is the answer to this problem? The changes are indicating to the producer to farm “leaner”, with more meat and less bone. Dr Michael Bradfield said, “The Limousin is before our time”. Our time will come and the pendulum is beginning to swing in our favour. In five to ten years’ time, the Limousin breed should be riding the crest of the wave because we automatically produce leaner and efficient carcasses with less bone and more meat and excellent tenderness. We thank SAMIC, especially Manie and Rudi for listening to us and for being so bold in changing the grading system - all in the interests of the consumer. Surely our time will come? CARCASE COMPETITION CRITERIA PRESENT CYCLE 10% < 170.0 kg 170.1 – 180.0 180.1 – 190.0 190.1 – 280.0 280.1 – 290.0 290.1 – 300.0 > 300.0 Mass Applicability Beef 0 1 3 5 Optimal 3 1 0 NEXT CYCLE FROM 01/07/2007 5% < 170.0 kg 170.1 – 180.0 180.1 – 190.0 190.1 – 280.0 280.1 – 290.0 290.1 – 300.0 > 300.0

Fat Class – 75% 22 2+ 33 3+

Fatness Least points Less points Optimal points Optimal points Less points Least points

Fat Class – 75% 1+ 22 2+ 33

Conformation Class – 15% 33 3+ 44 4+ 55 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15

Conformation Percentage 10 11 12 13 15 17 19 20 Optimal

Conformation Class – 20% 3 3+ 44 4+ 55 5+

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