Call for an overhaul of UK and Europe beef grading

AN overhaul of the current grading system in the UK and Europe for grading beef and lamb is needed if British livestock farmers are to improve their financial rewards for the production of meat in the future, says John Stones, director of the Nuffield Farming Scholarship Trust.

Mr Stones praised the attitude and progress of Australia’s grading systems, which assess meat eating quality as well as carcase quality and yield.

The Meat Standards Australia beef grading system links rib fat depth, colour, marbling, eye muscle area and breed, which they feel gives a more ‘all round’ picture of carcase, meat and eating quality.

“British livestock farmers are becoming complacent in thinking and our leading position.

“The Meat Standards Australia system of measuring the eating qualification of meat is sensible and necessary. It is ridiculous in this day and age we are using EUROP grid when the consumer is interested in eating quality that cannot come from the leanest carcase. The consumer wants to eat the meat, not keep looking at it.

“British livestock farmers have to push measurement and payment for their produce on the basis of what the consumer wants.”

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