The future of the UK beef industry post-Brexit and producing what the market wants were just some of the subjects up for discussion at a Charolais Cattle Society briefing in London.
The society’s chairman, Chris Curry, said: “We need to become a more integrated industry and be aware we have some of the highest production costs in the world. To succeed we must work together and use one certification standard that everyone follows.”
Mr Curry said the industry has to work at finding new markets outside the EU and convince the rest of the world that what we produce is worth buying at the same time as fending off supplies coming into our market at a lower price.
According to Mr Curry the Charolais breed was well placed to face the challenge.
He said: “The breed has evolved dramatically since it was introduced to the UK in the 1960s. It did have a reputation for being a difficult calver but over recent years the society has addressed this. The modern Charolais is easy calving but soft fleshing and can be finished quickly at any weight and grade.
“Eating quality will be key and with the advent of genomics we will be able to measure these previously hard to measure traits. The fact Charolais can be finished so quickly also reduces their carbon footprint, something which is becoming increasingly important to consumers.”
Since taking up the role as British Charolais Cattle Society chief executive last year, Peter Phythian has strived to improve the way the society’s marketing and administration is run.
In 2018 his aim is to continue to push the Charolais breed and ‘cross into profit’ brand across the whole supply chain.
He said: “I think our priority is to show the marketplace the strengths of the modern day Charolais, promote the breed to both suckler and dairy farmers and continue to look at ways in which the breed can evolve and invest in new opportunities.”