AWA's Peter Gilmour comments as Bill Gates praises AACo’s cattle technologies

On the occasion of Bill and Melinda Gates' visit to the Australian Agriculture Company’s Wylarah Station in Central Queensland, Australian Wagyu Association president Peter Gilmour said his organisation had long held the belief the Wagyu breed had the ability to transform Australia’s beef herd by bringing in softer meat and more edible cuts through the influence of intramuscular fats.

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Exploring Wagyu origins and markets - A trade mission to Japan

Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) in conjunction with Quadrant Australia is pleased to offer you the chance to join the Wagyu Trade Mission to Japan. Departing Australia late August, the trade mission includes not only the 2017 Wagyu Show at Sendai, but also the highlights of Tokyo, Japan’s capital, and the cultural centre of Kyoto.

The program provides opportunities to meet breeders, speak to officials and experience the Wagyu product throughout the Japanese food chain. The itinerary includes a stay in a traditional Ryokan (Japanese Inn), together with farm and technical visits where you can meet and learn from the local people.

In Tokyo, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) will provide a briefing and overview of the beef supply chain with an opportunity to visit a local supermarket to see how the Wagyu product is presented in the retail market.

A 15-DAY ESCORTED PROGRAM

The itinerary (2mb) includes Hokkaido, Japan’s northern island, where agriculture is serious business; the cultivated land area per farm household is 15 times greater than any other prefecture in Japan.

From Hokkaido it’s a short flight to Kyoto where participants will experience the cultural centre of Japan, with ancient temples, sublime gardens and colourful geishas. During this time, there will also be visits to the Kakogawa Meat Centre and local farms.

A trip to Japan is not complete without a bullet-train experience, where speeds of up to 320km per hour are the norm and so participants will board a bullet-train (Shinkansen) bound for Sendai for the Wagyu Feature Show. Every five years this Wagyu show is held in a different location in Japan.

Attendance at this event is a great opportunity to see Wagyu cattle and to participate in all the associated activities of the show and trade exhibits. AWA, in conjunction with Quadrant Australia, has had delegations attend in 2007 and in 2012.

Accommodation in Sendai is at a premium this year and delegation numbers must be limited. Anyone interested is encouraged to book early to hold a place. As this is a Trade Mission, all transactions will be conducted with the Australian Wagyu Association, but questions and the delivery will be conducted by Quadrant Australia.

The Download the program (2mb). Trade mission cost is $14,000 + GST per person on a twin share basis. Single supplement $1,000 + GST.

The Wagyu Trade Mission to Japan is a unique opportunity to travel with like-minded people and experience the wonder of Japan, where Wagyu is considered a national treasure. Book early to avoid disappointment – accommodation at the key event in Sendai is limited with no possibility of securing more so don’t miss out, register your interest by following the link.

Wagyu Membership Subs Due Shortly

We will soon be sending out membership invoices to existing Friends Of and Full Members of the Wagyu Breeders Association for the coming year 01.07.2017-30.062018. These will be posted out by our partner, Pedigree Cattle Services based in Perth, Scotland. We hope you will consider renewing your subscription to benefit from the new Wagyu Producer Group, animal registration facility, Wagyu Update magazine as well as all the Wagyu news and views from the UK and Australia. If you are thinking of joining the WBA, we have two membership types: either Full (£200 + VAT) for those with cattle to register or Friends Of (£50+VAT) for all those in the catering or hospitality trade. You'll find more info in the Membership section here.

New benefits of Wagyu membership unveiled

A series of innovative benefits has been announced to coincide with the start of the new membership year of the Wagyu Breeders Association (WBA) on 1st July 2017.

These include a Wagyu Producer Group to link up Wagyu breeders with potential customers in the meat and hospitality trade. Chefs and butchers for example will be able to access quality assured British Wagyu beef as soon as it becomes available on-farm.

In tandem with this comes a three-tier registration facility allowing producers to market their product with a Wagyu-branded ear tag backed up by DNA technology. Starting at around £5 per animal for crossbreds, this again underpins the provenance and quality assurance of British Wagyu beef throughout the supply chain to maximise returns.

Recognising the importance of the pedigree breeder, commercial producer as well as the consumer and everyone in between, the WBA has two membership levels: ‘Full Member’ for those registering fullblood (pedigree) and/or crossbred Wagyu cattle; and ‘Friend’ aimed at those in the retail or catering trade (butchers, chefs, hoteliers, farm shops and so on) with an interest in Wagyu meat. The benefits of joining the WBA are summarised below and are available both to new members as well as those renewing their subscriptions.

FRIEND OF WBA (£50 annual membership)

Benefits include:

  • Access to the Wagyu Producer Group. A simple-to-use facility through social media to provide a co-ordinated approach for marketing meat: alerts those looking to source Wagyu beef when product becomes available
  • Attending Wagyu-themed Open Days and Farm Walks
  • A Welcome Pack to include an introduction to the WBA, the background of Wagyu branding along with a published feeding, finishing and slaughter template of advisory notes to meet a WBA Quality Standard
  • Monthly newsletter and social media updates
  • Advertising opportunities on www.britishwagyu.co.uk
  • Three online issues per year of the Wagyu Update magazine produced in partnership with the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA)

FULL MEMBER OF WBA (£200 annual membership)

Full Members enjoy the advantages of ‘Friends Of’ membership (as above) plus the following additional benefits:

  • Ability to register fullblood and/or crossbred calves via an integrated tag, DNA and registration facility (see registration options and fees below)
  • UK-based administration service run by Pedigree Cattle Services (PCS) to help guide Members through the tag, DNA and registration process. Based in Perth, Scotland, PCS already works with 11 other UK breed societies through the ABRI and Breedplan systems used by our partners the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA)
  • Automatic Overseas Membership of the AWA at no extra cost enabling British & Irish Wagyu fullbloods to be registered with one of the foremost Wagyu associations worldwide, the AWA. Access to AWA’s Breedplan performance recording system and genetic research. Online database for animal and member search
  • Use of the Wagyu Producer Group to market meat to maximum effect: helps smaller producers get the best return on their investment; harnesses those beef and dairy producers who have used Wagyu semen in the past

THREE-TIER REGISTRATION OPTIONS & DRAFT FEES

-       Bronze £5. For crossbred Wagyu calves. Includes Wagyu-branded Caisley Flexo-Plus Geno management tag. Storage & DNA parentage verification not included. Option to upgrade to Silver at later date at additional cost of £30.

-       Silver £31. For crossbred Wagyu calves. Includes Wagyu-branded Caisley Flexo-Plus Geno management tag, sample storage and SeekSire DNA parentage verification (PV) with WBA-liveried DNA certificate. Administered by Pedigree Cattle Services, Perth.

-       Gold £70-90*. For Fullblood & Purebred calves. Includes Wagyu-branded Caisley Flexo-Plus Geno management tag, sample storage, full sire and dam parentage verification (PV), registration with Australian Wagyu Association. Administered by Pedigree Cattle Services, Perth. (*£70-90 depending on the STR/SNP DNA testing required).

Fees exclusive of VAT & postage

If you would like to join the Wagyu Breeders Association, a young and innovative Breed Society covering the whole of Great Britain & Ireland, please click on the Membership section where you can complete an application form online.

 

Alternatively, for an informal chat please call Richard Saunders (07901768904) or Sarah Thirlby (07773893738)

 

SUPPLEMENTARY NOTES

Wagyu cattle originate from Japan and are known to produce some of the world’s finest tasting beef which is not only highly-marbled and tender but is also recognised for its high proportion of ‘healthy’ fats. It is a high-end, high-value product with the potential to add huge value to all parts of the food chain. Other strengths of the breed in breeding terms are easy calving, low birthweights, short gestation and high fertility. As a terminal sire, the Wagyu bull can ‘improve’ all breeds of cattle but is said to work best with native breeds as well as dairy-bred cows which tend to have greater propensity to marbling.

 

$28,000 FOR WAGYU SEMEN STRAW

This press release from the Wagyu Expansion Conference that was held by our partner, the Australian Wagyu Association, makes very interesting reading..

Semen sold for $28,000 a straw, bulls to $105,000 and a heifer in utero made $95,000 at the Elite Wagyu sale at the Wagyu Expansion Conference in Albury MSW on Wednesday. All three are Australian record prices for the breed and stunned the 400 delegates in attendance.

The common thread with all three lots was they all sit in the top one per cent of the breed’s Fullblood Terminal index (FTI) indicating the growing acceptance of Wagyu Breedplan figures generated by the rapidly expandingWagyu database of growth, fertility and carcase information.

The $28,000/straw semen sale was for a package of 10 straws making it a $280,000 transaction.  The vendor was the Japanese owned Macquarie Wagyu stud and specialist Wagyu feedlot on Queensland’s Darling Downs managed byAnthony and Chantal Winter. The donor sire was the deceased Macquarie Y408, with an FTI of +$595, the second highest ranked bull in the Wagyu database. 

Buyer was Hendrick Markram’s South African based Miku Wagyu, a relative newcomer to the Wagyu breed who also paid $95,000 for a heifer in utero offered by Laird and Sonia Morgan, Arubial Pty Ltd, Condamine Qld. 

The buyer was on the telephone from South Africa giving bidding instructions to Jeremy Cooper of Wag-You dot com who said the genetics would remain in Australia to breed cattle that may be exported at some point in the future. 

Fourth generation Queensland cattle producer Ian Hewitt and his son Cameron went to $105,000 to obtain the two year old sire Mayura L0010 for their new Wagyu enterprise based at Hanging Rock Station, Charters Towers, Qld.  Offered by the de Bruin family’s Mayura stud at Millicent SA, this sire is in the top one per cent of the breed for FTI and marbling.

The bull will go to a semen collection center near Rockhampton before heading to his new home where a couple of thousand Shorthorn X Brahman cows will be joined to Wagyu each year with the F1 females retained to increase the Wagyu content in the herd.

Ian Hewitt said they intended to become heavily involved in the Wagyu industry to elevate marbling levels and generate feedlotter interest in their cattle.

Roger Hocking’s Summitt Agricutural, Albury, NSW, headed the volume buyers outlaying $86,200 for live cattle and genetic lots.

The sale averages were:

  • 7 females average $25,570
  • 28 embryos averaged $2600/embryo
  • 10 bulls averaged $20,799
  • 170 semen straws averaged $1962/straw