Consumers to help shape the future of Welsh Beef
Welsh farmers are getting help from the public to test the consistency of their beef produce.
Over one thousand members of the public are participating with the ‘BeefQ’ project, led by Aberystwyth University and a range of industry partners.
The project is supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
The aim of project is to help farmers and processors in Wales to produce beef that meets the future consumer’s needs.
BeefQ is attempting to implement an eating quality assessment system in Wales to boost the eating quality of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Welsh Beef.
“Work so far has concentrated on how the leading grading systems in use overseas can be put into practice here in Wales.”
Samples of beef carcases are being used to develop the scientific blueprint for outstanding-tasting beef. The carcases have been graded using Meat Standards Australia’s meat eating prediction models.
Hybu Cig Cymru’s meat quality executive, Dr Eleri Thomas, said: “These taste-testing sessions are a vital part of the BeefQ project. Work so far has concentrated on how the leading grading systems in use overseas can be put into practice here in Wales.
“But we need the input of people who enjoy eating PGI Welsh Beef to ensure that the research takes into account the tastes of UK consumers, and delivers the excellent eating experience they want.”
Dr Pip Nicholas-Davies, the BeefQ project coordinator at Aberystwyth University said: “Consumers are the drivers of value through the beef supply chain and their willingness to pay is influenced by the consistency of their beef eating quality experiences and perceived value for money.
“It makes sense then that we use consumers as the tools for assessing meat eating quality.
“The tasting sessions across Wales are being run with the help of students from Aberystwyth University and Further Education colleges so that they can see in practice how an eating quality system is developed and really grasp the importance of consumer satisfaction for developing a high value and sustainable beef industry.
“Involving these students, from catering and agriculture courses, provides an additional legacy for the project.”
Two of the project’s partners will be holding taste-testing session between 14th-19th November. Members of the public will score samples of beef on taste and tenderness. To find out more click here.