I am delighted to be able to write to you with what I believe is ground-breaking and important news, together with dates for your diary which underline further exciting opportunities ahead for the Wagyu breed. There are a lot of good things happening in the Wagyu world and we are determined to be part of it. The news starts right here…..

UK ‘Wagyu Revolution’ Conference Monday 27th June at The Yorkshire Wagyu Company

We are extremely fortunate to have one of the world’s leading Wagyu lights, Graham Truscott, CEO of the Australian Wagyu Association (AWA) coming to the UK this summer. Graham has been the catalyst behind the massive success of Wagyu not only in Australia but globally through the AWA’s links with ABRI (Australian Agricultural Business Research Institute) and Breedplan performance recording which the UK and USA among others are also tapping into through our partnership with AWA. This has effectively brought about a single global Wagyu organisation capable of realising the huge potential of Wagyu breeding through data capture and information sharing.

Unashamedly borrowing from Australia’s recent Wagyu Revolution Conference (held 2-6 May), the WBA Board is working hard to put together a fantastic ‘UK Wagyu Revolution’ programme. At this stage we are looking at a full day’s programme of technical workshops, Wagyu-themed lunch plus a farm walk. Graham will be leading on the huge rise of the Wagyu breed in Australia which has seen membership grow by 32% with registrations predicted to triple in the next three years. I’m certain the UK won’t be far behind so join us for a one-day conference where we will hear what makes the AWA so successful, and share best practice of the fastest growing cattle breed in the world! Those attending will also be able to learn more about the health benefits of Wagyu, the Wagyu Content Test as well as the importance of DNA and branded tags in the registration process through the WBA Interface. However, we do need the support and attendance of the whole Wagyu ‘team’ in terms of Members and supporters as we very much see this as a springboard for the future. Please do let me know if you can help in any way with either the event or raising sponsorship. Please watch the website and social media for full details and how to book. 

Spanish Wagyu Agreement with WBA

Further to a visit by Spanish Wagyu breeders to the UK at the end of February, an agreement has been reached for Spain to register its Fullblood and crossbred Wagyu cattle through the WBA Interface, using the registration, tag and DNA mechanism developed with the WBA’s partners TL Biolabs and Caisley. With a similarly sized Wagyu population to that of the UK, Spanish Wagyu will effectively double our throughput and at the same time generate important income for the WBA. Subject to finalising a Services Agreement, it is anticipated that Spain will start working with the WBA during May 2016.

It is hoped that this may be a stepping stone for the WBA to act as a Europe-wide Wagyu hub linking though to AWA to the global benefit of the Wagyu breed and as such has the backing of Australia.

Wagyu Registrations

The first batch of Fullblood Wagyu registrations processed by TL Biolabs via the WBA Interface has now been released by Australia with certificates due to go out to Members shortly. This process has taken longer than anticipated and we are grateful to Members for the patience they have shown for the whole procedure to get up-and-running. Australia has now put additional resource behind the Fullblood registration mechanism, and Fred Turner of TL Biolabs has worked very hard to resolve any issues, so we are confident that this will run more smoothly and quickly in future.  

Can I remind everyone that that one of our prime reasons for the WBA existing is the integrity of the wagyu breed and more importantly its meat. We run the commercial register ourselves through TL Biolabs and through the DNA tagging system we are able to prove that integrity from birth to plate. We are told from the now vast Australian experience it’s something we must do, particularly to help keep the premium for the top quality product. We lowered the costs and changed the rules to encourage breeders and fatteners to take advantage of this and so give you a brand that we can used for that integrity and provenance. We really would encourage all commercial Wagyu producers to register their stock in this way to help maintain the premium in the future. Please note that a commercial registration costs just £15+VAT to include registration and tag (but without DNA sire verification) with the £40 commercial registration (registration, tag and DNA) remaining as an option to those breeders wishing to sire verify their Wagyu crossbred stock. The price of a Fullblood registration remains at £50+VAT.

If you need any assistance to register your Fullblood or crossbred Wagyu animals, please get in touch with me, TL Biolabs Fred Turner (01924-409956) or WBA Company Secretary Richard Saunders (07901-768904) or alternatively email Registrations are the main source of income for the Association so your ongoing support is, as ever, greatly appreciated.

WBA Accounts

I am pleased to inform Members that finalised Accounts for WBA’s first year of trading to 31.07.2015 have now been submitted to Companies House. Grateful thanks go to WBA Director Jim Bloom for his help in getting them filed so promptly.

 Beef Expo, Bakewell, Friday 20th May

The WBA will again have a stand to showcase the opportunities for the breeding of Wagyu cattle at the National Beef Association’s flagship Beef Expo to be held at Bakewell Market on Friday 20th May, with farm tours and an industry dinner taking place on the Thursday. We look forward to welcoming Members and guests to this important event.