After six years of working in partnership with the Beef Shorthorn Society, Morrisons will launch a Shorthorn Beef range under ‘The Best’ brand in September.
This will make Morrisons the only supermarket to sell an exclusive Shorthorn beef product and the breed society has given them the licence to use breed logo on packaging. The range will include dry aged steaks, roasting joints, diced beef and mince.
Morrisons currently process about 7,500 Beef Shorthorn cattle annually, but is looking to increase numbers. Joe Mannion, head of livestock procurement said: “The number of Beef Shorthorn cattle we process has been steadily growing over the last six years to the point where we now have sufficient to launch this exclusive range. Initially, it will be in about two thirds of stores but we are looking for more farmer suppliers so eventually it can be rolled out to all stores. We would like to double numbers but really there is no upper limit.”
To qualify for the scheme cattle have to be by a registered Beef Shorthorn bull, all of which are DNA tested, be under 30 months of age and have been finished for the last 30 days on a specific balanced diet. Producers are paid a maximum of 25p/kg above Woodhead’s base price for carcases 280-380kg deadweight which grade –U, R and O+ 3, 4L and 4H.
Breed society, chief executive, Frank Milnes, who officially retired at the Great Yorkshire Show said: “This is a real landmark for the breed and a great opportunity for more farmers to join the Morrisons scheme. We know there are producers who only have a few Shorthorn cattle and may not be near to a Woodhead abattoir but we are looking into logistical solutions which may help them to join the scheme.”