• Hugh Pocock, Steve Ramshaw & David Walston join WBA Board

The Wagyu Breeders Association (WBA) has appointed three new Directors to its Board which sees it expand to seven members in total. Hugh Pocock, Steve Ramshaw & David Walston have joined and will bring huge passion and experience in many diverse fields to the WBA.

Commenting, WBA Chairman Mike Tucker said: “These appointments come at an exciting time for the industry with Wagyu beef attracting significant premiums for its intrinsic qualities of marbling, tenderness and healthy eating. Not only will the new Directors bring a wealth of expertise to the table, but their wider regional spread will allow the association to develop a greater reach nationally.”

Hugh Pocock, Calverhall, Whitchurch, Shropshire studied at Harper Adams University and spent the last 15 years working for Cogent Breeding Ltd where he managed their genetic programmes for beef and dairy.  Says Hugh: “It is my passion for cattle genetics and quality food that has enticed me to the Wagyu Breeders Association Board.  I see a fabulous opportunity for the breed in the UK where we are renowned for producing some of the finest cattle under the highest welfare standards in the world. This, combined with the uniqueness of Wagyu and a strong brand, means we can give the customer top-quality beef, and continue to develop and enhance the breed.” 

Northumbrian-based Steve Ramshaw came into farming 25 years ago after
a career in construction management, setting up Northumbrian Quality Meats at West Woodburn, Hexham five years later to add value to the beef and lamb he was producing. Going on to employ 10 full-time staff supplying top quality beef and lamb across the UK, he has won numerous awards and been featured on TV shows including The Best of British (Hairy Bikers), TV Food Heroes (Gary Rhodes) and The Great British Menu. “My interest in Wagyu came about some 15 years ago after a recommendation from a top chef and I spent time in Canada and the USA studying Wagyu production before bringing embryos back home to start my herd. I believe Wagyu has the potential to be the terminal breed of choice in the UK because of its exceptional eating quality.”

2014 Nuffield Scholar David Walston is a third-generation farmer focusing mainly on arable production at Thriplow Farms near Cambridge. He previously worked as a photographer and magazine editor. “Wagyu first came to my attention during a trip to Japan in 2011, after which I started importing embryos from the USA, building up the herd to around 25 Fullbloods over the course of several years. I think the Wagyu industry is very exciting, and in the time I have been involved it has grown massively in public recognition. Key to its success is delivering consistent quality to those customers who are willing to pay a premium for a fantastic eating experience.”