Precision Finishing Should Deliver Bulls Eye Prices

FARMING UK - More money could be earned from more prime cattle if more processors introduced tighter specifications and offered premiums, backed by discounts, to encourage more precise finishing based on higher rewards for in-specification carcases.
calendar icon 17 April 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

So says the National Beef Association which would like to persuade more slaughterers to offer bigger incentives to feeders who produce exactly the type of cattle their customers prefer.

“Some processors are encouraging precision finishing by defining tight specifications and paying substantial premiums for cattle that hit the bulls eye,” explained NBA chairman, Duff Burrell.

“However others fail to offer an incentive, some even prefer to buy on flat rate, and as a result the price gap between the type of cattle they really want, and those that fall short of what is needed is much to narrow and not enough is being done to raise precision and financially stimulate improvement in both breeding and feeding.”

The NBA is ready to work with slaughterers, retailers and other farm organisations to design improved payment systems which reward the delivery of the right type of cattle.

“More tools are available now that the industry is looking beyond the EURO classification grid, category and weight as the sole determinants of a slaughter animal’s value,” said Mr Burrell.

“This really does open the way to more processing companies identifying more precise requirements and reducing their balancing problems because more of the cattle they buy are right on target.”

“This cannot be done unless out of specification cattle are hit with bigger penalties but the NBA would support this because if more companies are resolute about the type of animal they are prepared to take, and discourage those they do not want, there would be an immediate response from farmers and it would not be long before a bigger percentage of cattle hit the premium bulls eye and earned more money.”

“This would not only help to stabilise the beef sector, which continues to battle against persistent losses, it would also help processors to develop closer links with both ends of their supply chain because more of the cattle they handle would be of the right type.”

“The NBA can easily envisage a situation in which breeders and feeders each worked together to produce quite different cattle for different markets – and then made sure they were delivered to the company they were being aimed at instead of being picked up by someone else at a discount

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