Morrisons has rolled out the first ever supermarket Shorthorn Beef brand with a full range of steaks, salmon-cut and topside joints available in over 100 stores UK-wide.
The launch in September 2016 marked the Beef Shorthorn Society and Morrisons working in partnership for six years to develop the Shorthorn Beef brand supply chain under its ‘The Best’ range.
The Society has agreed for Morrisons to be the sole UK supermarket to retail Shorthorn Beef and highlights the company’s long standing commitment to the breed. All Shorthorn Beef packaging carries the breed logo.
The supermarket is currently sourcing between 130 and 150 cattle per week. All cattle sired by a pedigree registered Beef Shorthorn bull are eligible for the scheme which is offering a premium on O+ and better of up to 25p per kg.
Joe Mannion, Morrisons head of livestock procurement said: “As we grow the Shorthorn Beef scheme we are actively seeking new farmers to join our producer group.” So far 200 finishers are supplying the scheme.
Jodie Bolland, Morrisons livestock and farming development manager said: “After years of work, we have built a supply chain that allows us to sell a Shorthorn branded beef product into selected Morrisons supermarkets. The beef delivers unequalled eating quality and is managed carefully though our own meat processing company, Woodhead Bros.”
The Beef Shorthorn sired cattle are finished for the last 90 days on a specific balanced diet comprising 35% starch DM. Once processed the choice steak cuts are gently dry aged, which complements the breed’s inherent eating quality and produces a steak with great favour and tenderness.
Beef Shorthorn Society chief executive, Milly Fyfe commented: “We are thrilled to witness what is a landmark - the launch of the Shorthorn Beef brand, which will help to connect farming with consumers. Since we established our working partnership with Morrisons in 2010 which is adding value to the steers - once a by-product, BCMS registrations of Beef Shorthorn and Beef Shorthorn cross cattle have increased by a massive 64%, more than double the percentage increase in populations of the next highest breed, whilst during the same period, the suckler cow population has declined by approximately 8%.
“In turn, the growing demand for Beef Shorthorn as a functional suckler cow has stimulated enthusiast interest amongst breeders. Since 2010, growth has been exponential; pedigree Beef Shorthorn annual registrations have increased by over 39% whilst society membership has risen by 42%.”
She added: “We look forward to continuing the journey working with Morrisons to help increase the supply of cattle sired by a registered Beef Shorthorn bull and make available this very high quality product accompanied by full traceability and provenance to consumers in even more stores throughout the country.”
To find out more about becoming a supplier, please contact one of the following Morrisons team
Jim Holden (England / Wales): 07831 555076
Michael Winchester (England): 07801100092
Richard Henderson (Scotland):07885110762
Michael Wilson (Scotland): 07581412433