A Lively learning opportunity for Welsh farmers

by James Ruggeri, Industry Development Executive, HCC

AS farmers we often spend our time focusing on the fundamental jobs involved with producing our livestock, it is easy to forget about the bigger picture. we are farmers but moreover we are food producers. However, many of us would rarely have the opportunity to understand what our consumers are looking for or how the supply chain mechanism is formed, ensuring our produce moves efficiently from farm to fork.

To help welsh sheep and beef farmers understand consumer trends and what the market and processors require, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion wales (HCC) offers and runs popular Livestock Selection courses.

Held at major processing plants at various locations in wales, the courses offer a practical and hands on behind the scenes experience where the barrier of not knowing what market requires is broken down.

The course is free and can accommodate up to a dozen farmers at a time, ensuring that the experience is informal and thorough. There is detailed instruction on factors to be considered when selecting cattle and sheep for slaughter including: handling techniques, market specifications, supply chain requirements, carcase requirements, carcase classification, dressing specifications and breed traits.

The experience of handling and assessing a number of live animals and then being able to assess the carcases of the same animals later in the day provides excellent experience and information for producers to take away and apply at home to improve their selection skills in their future marketing of stock.

As an industry, it is vitally important that we are producing a desirable product that meets market specifications and consumer needs. Here at HCC, we want to improve this and ensure that farmers are properly informed to produce high quality and consumer pleasing products.

Not only will this help our industry as a whole but it will help individual farm businesses ensure cost efficiency and profit.

we have welcomed farmers, male and female, old and young, experienced and new to the industry to our Livestock Selection courses and everyone has left having learnt something new. if you’d like more information about the Livestock Selection courses or would like to book onto one please phone 01970 625050 or email info@hccmpw.org.uk

Alternatively, if you’re visiting the Royal welsh Show this year, you are welcome to chat to us about our Livestock Selection courses along with our other industry development work as well as seeing the activities we’ve got planned on our stand – between bountiful BBQs, cosy cook-offs and welsh rugby stars, it’s sure to be a great week and a great celebration of our welsh red meat industry.

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