WAGYU BREEDERS ASSOCIATION
CHAIRMAN’S NOTE TO MEMBERS DECEMBER 2016
Dear WBA Member,
Wagyu continues to cause a stir in the industry with its reputation for exceptional eating quality and premium value. These are unique selling points that many breeds never attain so what better attributes to continue to build on to deliver value to our Members!
Although it has been a difficult 6 months for the Wagyu Breeders Association due to issues with the animal registration Interface, I am still convinced more than ever that Wagyu has a great future here in Britain & Ireland. This was certainly in evidence at the end of June when we were privileged to have Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) Chief Executive, Graham Truscott, as keynote speaker at the Wagyu Revolution Conference held in Yorkshire.
EXPANSION OF WBA BOARD
The WBA Board met on December 1st and I’m delighted to tell you that Steve Ramshaw, Sarah Thirlby, Hugh Pocock & David Walston have joined as Directors. They bring both huge passion and experience in many diverse fields to our association and I hope you will get a chance to meet them in the not-too-distant future. These appointments will not only help share the workload but will also help WBA develop greater strength and balance regionally. Look out for a separate news piece on our new Directors in due course. I can also tell you that Rob Cumine, who now lives in Australia, has stepped down from the WBA Board although he will continue to develop his Natural Wagyu business in Wales.
We hope to soon be able to announce the results of our search to provide a new registration & DNA portal. In short, it is our intention to maintain the excellent partnerships already established with AWA & Caisley but have another organisation deal with the processing of registrations and DNA parentage on our behalf. We expect this to be in place in the early part of 2017 and will write again nearer the time with further details.
We will be giving a 6 months’ grace on Membership subs for the coming year. This means that you will remain a Member of WBA as well as an Overseas Member of AWA but that we will only send out invoices in June next year to cover the period 01.07.2017- 30.06.2018. This will also bring the WBA & AWA’s membership years in line.
WAGYU SELLING GROUP
Many of our Members have just a handful of cattle and tell us it is sometimes difficult to find a profitable route to market. WBA is planning to establish a Wagyu Selling Group to offer its ‘smaller’ breeders assistance whereby they could work together to provide a regular and consistent supply to either a processor or on a contract basis to larger Wagyu producers. This would likely be a premium scheme based on a ‘pence per kilo’ grid above the current base price. Remaining at the core of this would be the parentage-verified Wagyu-branded tag to guarantee provenance. It is hoped that a Wagyu Selling Group would ease supply and demand as well as cash-flow issues for both big producers and smaller enthusiasts. A meeting is planned in the New Year so please get in touch if you would like to be involved.
NEWS & EVENTS
Are you able to help with or host a Wagyu open day, talk or workshop in the coming year? If so, we would be pleased to hear from you! This will help us to get all sectors to keep talking about Wagyu and buy into the long-term concept of what we are doing. Ideas include: food industry shows, awards, workshops for chefs, farm shops, farmer-focused events such as farm walks, NFU or NBA meetings. Again, spreading the word through Social Media is also very important nowadays so please link your Wagyu-themed stories to the WBA’s Facebook or Twitter feeds which you can find on the www.britishwagyu.co.uk website.
In summing up, the Wagyu Breeders Association Board is confident that, with your continued support, the WBA can build on its first two years’ success and we should all be proud of what we have managed to achieve. Whilst the Interface situation has taken us ‘one step back’ we are still marching ‘two steps forward’ and are redoubling all our efforts to create positive avenues and opportunities for the future of WBA and its Members.
As always, I welcome your thoughts on any of the items raised in the above.