Kepak’s Welsh Black Beef Club will be based on the quality and sustainable supply of Welsh Black beef and promote the further development of the breed.
To attain membership of the Kepak Welsh Black Cattle Club, available from January 2020, producers will be required to undertake vital benchmarking exercises and collect data on key aspects such as herd performance, carbon footprinting, environmental management, feed and antibiotic use.
The Welsh Black is a dual-purpose breed of cattle native to Wales that is one of the oldest breeds in Britain. The modern Welsh Black breed offers cattle that meet the needs of modern farming, with medium-sized suckler dams that are easy to manage and capable of rearing strong pure or cross-bred calves that will suit a range of beef finishing systems.
On the partnership, Kepak St Merryn procurement director Prys Morgan said: “At Kepak, we are always looking for ways to evolve and innovate. We are delighted to be establishing this scheme, which will provide a premium to suppliers of quality Welsh Black cattle, and believe the brand created will resonate with the Welsh consumer as it provides a local offering that also boasts Welsh heritage, landscape and environmental credentials.”
Chairman of the Welsh Black Cattle Society Meredydd Jones added: “The Welsh Black is a breed steeped in history. We hope that by partnering with Kepak we will be able to safeguard the commercial viability of the breed long into the future. The programme will have the dual benefit of providing a degree of certainty to our farmers while offering consumers the premium quality beef that they are accustomed to.”
Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs Lesley Griffiths AM said: “At a time when the beef sector in Wales is under significant pressure, I am particularly pleased that Kepak and the Welsh Black Beef Society are working together to develop an exclusive scheme based on the quality, sustainable supply of Welsh Black beef. It is an exciting new opportunity that has been brought about by industry working together.”