Hereford Prime Around The World
A super market in Uruguay displaying Hereford beef
Many years ago delegates at a World Hereford Council meeting decided that we should brand Hereford beef and give our breed recognition for the quality beef it produces. At that time a proposal was put forward to develop a world Hereford logo which would identify Hereford beef produced by World Hereford Council members. The idea was good but it proved to be impossible to implement. As it happens the word Hereford is sufficient to brand beef as a quality product and various logos containing the word Hereford are now instantly recognised in quality beef programs all around the world.
America and Uruguay are undoubtedly the largest producers of Hereford beef. Uruguay slaughters 1200 carcasses per day to supply the demand they have created for their branded grass fed product. Their research and producer programs are designed to provide the feed back required to satisfy consumer demands and encourage and inform producers.
Herefords are the dominant breed in Uruguay and coupled with a most successful branded product program they are in a most enviable position.
|American Hereford Association’s branded product was launched in 1995 and has recorded steady growth in sales every year since that time.
In 2007, Certified Hereford Beef sold 37.5 million pounds of product which was 203,509 carcasses.
5,000 ranchers and farmers are committed to supporting the program which at present covers all the continental States but is capable of supplying all the States in the future.
Value added products such as patties are becoming very popular. Stylish packaging and catchy slogans familiarise customers with the product and really promote the breed.
|Ireland launched their branded product Irish Hereford Prime in 1998 and now supply product to supermarkets in France, Belgium, Germany and Portugal.
The demand for their quality product has been extremely pleasing.
In 2005 Irish Hereford Prime required 120 carcasses a week to supply their markets and in three years the demand has almost doubled.
220 carcasses are being now being processed per week.
800 members have joined the company and are committed to supplying Hereford Beef to the program.
|Hereford Prime New Zealand Ltd is an independent company 100% owned by the New Zealand Hereford Association. The company was established in 1991 and is funded by a head age levy. The company is administered by a board of six Directors and one part time marketing employee. The Directors are elected Hereford breeders who are committed to the program and volunteer their time and efforts. The aim of the company is to provide a better understanding between the suppliers and the processors, to consistently provide a quality product and to promote the breed.|
|The Canadian Hereford Association provides members with packaging and promotional items should they wish to pack promote their own Hereford brand. Grant Hirshe went one step further and now has a successful outlet for his Hereford and Angus meat and has developed his own Hereford brand. This promotes Hirsche Herefords and the quality meat it provides. His confidence and enthusiasm in the Hereford breed and its quality products inspired everyone who heard his presentation at the recent conference in Copenhagen.|
|The United Kingdom supports several Hereford brands.
Waitrose, one of the country’s leading supermarkets, is linked to the Hereford beef program and the scheme is continuing to go from strength to strength.
However as farmer’s markets and farm gate selling has become extremely popular in the United Kingdom, Hereford breeders have taken the initiative and are also successfully selling Hereford beef on their own account.
This endorses traceability and those concerned about carbon footprints enjoy purchasing products from local farms.
Some of our World Hereford member countries do not have branded beef programs. At the 15th World Hereford Conference, Frans Simons from The Netherlands presented a paper demonstrating how he overcame that problem by supplying product through a local butcher to friends and neighbours in his local village. Frans has a low cost enterprise, selling his Nierveer Hereford meat in pre-ordered personalised portions to his customers. His only advertising is by word of mouth and his quality product is in big demand.
|While at the World Hereford conference many members noticed a Hereford restaurant in the main street of Copenhagen and of course just had to try the product for themselves. The menu was quite a challenge as the choice was considerable. The menu itself is a wonderful piece of advertising. Not only does the menu describe the various cuts of steak available but it also offers a great variety of sizes and prices. Since opening the first Hereford Beefstouw restaurant in 1971 each steak has been given a number. Over 10 million steaks have been served in the 13 restaurants which are now found in Denmark, Sweden, Greenland, and the International Airport in Hong Kong. My steak was number 10,824,539. The salad bar added to the décor and again the choice was extremely generous. I was not able to manage a dessert but I really would have loved to try the Hereford Special which was vanilla ice cream with raisins in rum, ginger, whipped cream, powder coffee and caloric liqueur. The customer is given the menu as a souvenir and should one wish to write a note in the space provide at the back, the menu is folded to resemble a post card. The restaurant kindly pays the postage to whomever one sends it to. I sent a message back to New Zealand and it arrived four days after my visit to the Copenhagen restaurant which I thought was marvellous and great idea for advertising a wonderful Hereford experience. Of course Hereford breeders visiting the restaurant wanted to know where the meat had come from. The answer we were given was simply Australia and several week later I discovered the owner of these Hereford restaurants, Mr Lars Dromgaard was visiting a property he part owns with Mr Tim Burvill in South Australia.|
In South Australia, Mr Lars Dromgaard, Richard Ogilvy, Tim Burvill and farm manager Tom Giles.
One of the directors of Hereford Prime in Australia, Mr. Dan Morice, recently visited New Zealand and took the opportunity to call in on the North Island processing plant Magill Meats. The owner of Magills, Mr Michael Van de Hooven, and Dan Morice had lots to talk about and spent some time exchanging ideas. The future of Hereford branded products must surely be enhanced by these most valuable contacts. The Hereford Prime promotion for our breed is hard to measure but producing a sought after easily recognized product gives our breed a purpose and our breeders pride in the Herefords they produce.
|Dan Morice, Hereford Prime Australia, with Mike Van de Hooven at Magill Meats displaying some Hereford Prime New Zealand product.|
New Zealand - Steak of Origin Competition 2006
The Meat and Wool NZ sponsored Steak of Origin competition attracted over 250 entries this year. A shear force test reduced the number to a final 16 steaks which were then taken to Beef Expo where a panel of judges tasted, sniffed and appraised the steaks before they announced the winners. Just reaching the final is a major achievement itself and Hereford Prime is the only retail brand to have reached the finals in all 4 competitions. This is a very good endorsement of the strict criteria which Hereford Prime has developed. This year it was our North Island processor, Magill Meats who kept the Hereford Prime brand in the limelight.
Pre-dinner drinks were served as the judges made their final decisions and during that time a power point presentation showing the selected steaks prior to cooking were shown on a big screen. The differences in marbling and shape were very evident.
Best of Brand
Entrant: Magills Butchery
As the Hereford Prime entry looked very promising our group of supporters were very hopeful of pulling off the main award. However it was not to be. Hereford Prime was the runner up to the Champion steak entered by the Neat Meat company and while we were just a wee bit disappointed to come so close, it was still a great achievement for the brand and its processors.
| Michael Van der Hoeven from Magill Meats with Hereford Prime Chairman, Laurie Paterson.
Michael Van der Hoeven, the owner of Magill Meats, takes the competition very seriously, so much so, he decided to select and raise his own animals especially for the competition.
|The young calves being raised for the Steak of Origin competition on Van der Hoeven’s lifestyle block.|
Michael purchased 25 calves from a local dairy farmer at four days old and then entrusted their care to his wife Audrey to hand rear on their lifestyle block. The Hereford / Friesian cross animals were slaughtered at 18 months of age and all but one made the top grade.
Michael and Audrey have raised another bunch of calves which are currently grazing quietly on their lifestyle block little suspecting that they will carry the hopes of Magill Meats in next years Steak of Origin competition.
Certified Hereford Beef LLC Newsletter
The fall 2005 Certified Hereford Beef LLC newsletter is now on the CHB LLC Web page. You will find information on the recent Team Hereford Huddle, an event bringing together retail and food service customers of CHB LLC to discuss marketing strategies. Articles on the current status of the Japan beef trade issue and the national ID system are included, as well as customer events and store openings.
Please follow the link below:
Irish Hereford Prime
Notes from the presentation given by Willie Branagan , Secretary of Irish Hereford Prime, at the European Conference.
"Beef to the heel like a Mullingar heifer" is a phrase known the length and breadth of Ireland in farming circles. It's meaning, self explanatory if slightly exaggerated, suggests that the beef on the cattle from that area extended right to ground level. It's origin, however, had to be based on the quality of these cattle and it is no co-incidence that about the year 1775 Richard Molesworth Reynell founded the first Hereford herd in Ireland at Reynella less than 10 miles from Mullingar. In the intervening 230 years Herefords have spread to all corners of Ireland producing top-quality beef both from crosses with dairy cattle and suckler herds.
In 1998 Hereford Prime was established by the Irish Hereford Breed Society to market Quality Assured Irish Hereford Prime Beef. The first customer was Jean Denaux, a Paris meat wholesaler who markets beef into top of the range restaurants in France. He is still a valued customer of Hereford Prime. In March 2000 Irish Hereford Prime Beef was awarded the Medal of Excellence by the French Academy of Meat for its outstanding flavour and for the craftsmanship shown in its processing and ageing.
In the year 2000 Irish Hereford Prime began selling on to the Irish Market. Co-incidentally, France and Mullingar came together at this point - our first customer was a newly-established French Restaurant in Mullingar. From these small beginnings, Irish Hereford Prime has expanded slowly but surely and now supplies Restaurants and Butchers all over Ireland with a superb product. Distribution is by Pallas Foods, a Company with a huge distribution network based in Newcastlewest, Co.Limerick.
Mr Jim Tynan at the Kitchen and Food Hall in Portlaoise where Hereford Prime is on the menu.
Jim said “Since using Hereford Prime I have not had a steak meal returned from a dissatisfied customer!”
The Champion Supermarket chain in Belgium has been selling an ever-increasing volume of our product and feed-back has been most encouraging
Anglo Irish Beef Processors, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary, process the cattle for Irish Hereford Prime and those who visited the plant were impressed by their excellent standards of operation.
Visitors pictured at the plant included:
Arne Henricson (Sweden), Mikko Leikola (Finland), Johan Danielson (Sweden), Jan Wills (New Zealand), Martin Murphy (Ireland), Lennart Andersson (Sweden) and Franz Simons (The Netherlands)
Approximately 150 cattle per week are marketed - both steers and heifers and strict criteria are laid down for their acceptance into the Scheme:
|Pictured Heifers being prepared for Hereford Prime at Conor Meade’s property.|
Cattle must be at least 50% Hereford. Cattle must be under 30 months old. They must grade 3,4L or 4H on fat score and U, R or 0 on conformation.
Carcass weights are 230 - 320 kgs. for heifers and 230 - 350 kgs for steers.
Cattle are only accepted from members of Irish Hereford Prime Limited. Farmers who wish to join Irish Hereford Prime Limited are charged €127 for life membership and €6.35 is deducted from the carcass value of each animal to finance administration of the Scheme. Our Procurement Officer ensures that the criteria are adhered to.
Cattle qualifying for Hereford Prime are paid bonuses varying by month from 8c/kg in August, September and October to 17c/kg in May and June
The monthly variation was introduced this year to counteract seasonality of supply - large numbers of cattle offered in Autumn 2004 led to difficulties in getting enough cattle processed for members.
The Board of Irish Hereford Prime consists of both Pedigree Breeders and Commercial Producers, all sharing a commitment to providing the best cattle possible for processing and doing their best to increase market share for our product.
Three directors are from the Hereford Society and three directors are commercial breeders, plus Michael Clarey the procurement agent and Willie Branagan the Secretary of the company.
|Joe Maher, the Chairman of Hereford Prime.|
It has not been possible yet to place our product on Irish Supermarket shelves - this has to be one of our aims for the future. The work will continue at a steady pace, with its ups and downs, and I am confident, because of the quality of our product, our business can only expand in the future.
United Kingdom - HEREFORD AS A BRANDED BEEF PRODUCT
Notes taken from David Prothero’s Hereford Prime presentation at the European Conference
The Scheme, now in its 7th year, has been one of the most important developments for our Breed in recent times - enabling us to offer a complete marketing opportunity from the Producer to the Consumer or, as often said, from farm Gate to Plate.
Under the management and guidance of the Processors, Dovecote Park Limited, a regular supply of Hereford Sired Cattle are sourced and processed weekly providing Branded Hereford Beef to go on the shelves of one of the U.K's most prestigious Supermarket Chains "Waitrose", part of the John Lewis Partnership Department Stores.
There are in excess of 150 Waitrose stores, mainly in the Southern part of the country, with over half offering "Premium Branded Hereford Beef" in a special section pitched midway between British Beef and the Fresh Meat Counter.
The criteria for Branded Hereford Beef is first and foremost that it must be beef bred from Pedigree Hereford Bulls. It is here that the Society plays its initial role in authenticating the sires, so ensuring the eligibility of the cattle processed for the Scheme.
Dovecote Park, who source the majority of the cattle, also ensure that all Producers belong to a recognized Assurance Scheme and therefore abiding by "Good Management Practice".
Cattle for the Scheme are restricted to Steers and Heifers with a minimum deadweight set at 260 kgs and are subject to a Price Grid based upon the EUROP Grading System.
Both Steers and Heifers must fall within the conformation grades of E, U+, U-, R+ and 0+ and Fat Classification of 3, 4L and 4H.
Currently, the fixed price for Steers grading R4L is 225p per kg deadweight and 220p for Heifers.
At the top end of the grades U+U-4L 235p for Steers and 230p for heifers and, at the lower end, 0+4L 215p and 2l0p respectively.
These prices compare very favourably with the general market when, at the time of writing this report. Steers grading R4L were selling at 157.7p per kg deadweight and Heiters at 188.3p.
For the Scheme to continue successfully and expand, work is constantly ongoing to secure a regular supply of cattle of a consistent quality and it is here that the Society again finds itself very much involved, making every effort to safeguard the Scheme against the use of inferior bulls.
As I am sure you will all appreciate, as the confidence in and demand for the Breed continues to emerge, there is an increasing possibility of the standard of bulls being registered declining, which obviously would have a detrimental effect on the standard of the cattle being produced for the Scheme.
It is therefore in this connection that the Society sees the recently introduced "Breedplan" System in the U.K. playing an extremely important role in assisting with the selection and identification of the types of sires best suited to producers of cattle for the Scheme.
We hope that as the System establishes itself, coupled with an increased uptake by breeders, we will be in a position to introduce, a “Benchmarking” Programme highlighting those bulls most suited to the production of cattle for the scheme.
However, this said, the best selection procedure will be down to the integrity and expertise of the individual breeder who must if they wish to protect their long-term future as Pedigree Producers, be prepared to adopt a rigid selection policy by registering only the very best.
In conclusion, I believe there is a tremendous future for our Breed in its role as a "Branded Product" - its ability to produce High Quality Grass-Fed Beef economically - its indelible White Face Trade Mark - its international appeal in all major beef producing countries around the World - a breed with natural flavour and eye-appeal. You really couldn’t ask for more - "Hereford Beef".
Observations from the Secretary General..
While traveling recently in the United Kingdom, I visited a number of Hereford Herds. Some breeders have developed their own meat producing schemes by marketing locally produced quality Hereford beef. It seems more and more people are becoming conscious of where the products they are buying are being sourced. This trend is labeled ‘Food Miles’ and customers are happy to pay a little extra for locally grown produce. While not selling beef under the Hereford Prime label these breeders have successfully developed a quality product from their Hereford cattle and they are successfully marketing a local product. One such enterprise is Andrew Shufflebotham’s Cheerbrook shop in Nantwich.
The Cheerbrook Hereford Stud was established over 30 years ago by Andrew Shufflebotham’s Mother Miranda, and her Herefords grazed the pastures which surrounded the Cheerbrook piggery. It was necessary to keep a certain amount of land so that the pig slurry was easily disposed of and the Hereford herd kept the pastures neat and tidy. When the pig industry collapsed Andrew had to look for another occupation. He was reluctant to part with his Herefords and wanted to include them in his future plans. He said “I love my Hereford cattle so I had to come up with an excuse to keep them.” He decided to start a farm gate quality food industry and altered one of his piggeries and set up shop. It is now a very successful business and when I was there people were buzzing in and out of the shop at regular intervals.
Cheerbrook Quality Farm Food is situated at Nantwich in Cheshire. The town has a population of between 12,000 -14, 000 and it seems Andrew’s customers like a drive out in the country to get locally produced quality meats. At first Andrew killed Hereford cattle which he sourced from clients who purchased his Hereford bulls. At that time he was killing about 3 beasts a week but now as the business has grown he has to source his Herefords from wherever he can find them. Although Andrew has added other locally produced products to his shelves, just over 60% of his business is meat. His customers are adamant that all the products must be locally produced and if possible he sells products which cannot be obtained anywhere else. Five years ago Andrew employed one butcher and one other person to help in the shop. He now has 6 butchers, a chef who designs the ready to eat meals and a team of 8-9 permanent staff and several more part time staff members, who are rotated to cover a seven day week business.
The weather has a big influence on his sales with warm weather and holiday periods lifting sales in BBQ products. At present Cheerbrook Quality Farm Foods offer 12 flavours of sausages, and three flavours of burger patties.
The flavours are plain steak burger, stilton wedge burger and Italian basil with mozzarella cheese. During one of Andrew’s best weeks of trade he sold ₤2,000 worth of burger patties. Andrew has tried various forms of advertising but has found his presence at Food Festivals the most successful with a 15% increase in sales directly attributed festival tasting activities.
|The Hereford stud cattle at Cheerbrook play an important role in the business. The main herd still graze the land once used for slurry disposal while a few graze the road-side display paddocks. This adds to the appeal of the local quality meat business and gives Andrew that excuse he needed to continue breeding his Herefords.|
A little further down the road at Tarvin I visited Sheaf Farm Products. The catch phrase for this cottage industry type business is “Think local. Buy local.” Denis & Sue Heath and their son David run Sheaf Farm Products in conjunction with their Hockenhull Hereford stud on 130 acres.
The stud has been based on the legendary cow "Woodview Betty" who was born in Ireland and purchased as a yearling by Billy McIndoe. When the McIndoes immigrated to Australia, Betty was purchased by the Heaths at the dispersal sale. She lived until she was 18 years old and during her lifetime Betty and her progeny won many, many championships for the Hockenhull Stud. A recent highlight for the Heath family was David’s selection for the 2004 scholarship offered by the Hereford Young Members’ Association to travel to the United States and take part in the preparation of the De Shaver cattle company’s show team for the Wisconsin Junior National Cattle Show. David said he learnt a lot and it was just a wonderful experience.
The Sheaf farm shop processes 2 ½ bodies of beef, between 10-12 lambs and 6 porkers a week. The locals are always interested in the farm’s show success and David often leads and displays his show team in the courtyard near the shop. The customers love to chat and often seek advice on what to purchase and how to cook the products. Sue gives guided tours for the children to the barn to see the new born lambs or calves.
Denis is the main transport operator. He takes the animals to the abattoir which is about a 20 minute drive from the farm. The carcasses are left to hang overnight at 1-0 degrees and then the quartered carcasses are picked up 48 hours after killing and taken home to hang for 15-21 days. The abattoir cost is ₤27.50 per head. At first the customers were a little dubious about aged beef because it is darker in colour. Most only purchased about 2 pounds at the time but now those same customers usually purchase 4-5 pounds of beef, saying that any left overs are very sought after for sandwiches etc.
The Sheaf Farm Shop is a real family business where everyone is involved. Sue and her sister Jane make good use of all the sub primals by making real home made pies. Jane is a pastry specialist and Sue makes a beef filling with onions and carrots. I wondered how the pastry remained crisp and Sue told me that it was very important to completely cool the filling before topping with the pastry. That way your topping stays crisp!
The Heath family are all fully employed either on the farm or in the shop and they also employ one full time and one part-time butcher, plus a full time shop assistant for three days a week. The family love the cattle and hope the shop remains profitable enough to enable them to do what they love most of all which is to produce quality meat and graze their land with their Herefords.
Further South I visited Haven Herefords at Dilwyn. The Lewis’s have been breeding Herefords for more than 100 years and the family are in the sixth generation with the Haven herd. Edward has added another string to his bow and now offers Pure Hereford beef delivered to your door. Customers place their orders using the Internet. The beef is available in either 10 kilo or 20 kilo boxed lots. Each box contains some sirloin, rump and fillet steak, some slow roasting joints, and some stewing and minced steak. The box is stamped with a Hereford head and the words “Haven Herefords. Home to Home” The cost is ₤7.50 per kilo plus delivery.
|More details of the Haven products can be found on the web site..
Although I did not visit the Lower Hurst Farm they also have a very good web site and offer organic Hereford Beef which can be delivered to your home.
The web site is www.lowerhurstfarm.co.uk
Hereford Prime as a marketable branded product is not available as yet in The Netherlands but some Hereford breeders are marketing locally produced quality Hereford Beef and I visited two such properties.
|Alf van Heek lives near Enshede and he has built a wonderful entertainment area which can be hired for corporate functions. The menu always includes quality Hereford steaks and guests have expansive views of the Hereford cattle grazing the surrounding area.|
I also visited Nierveer Herefords at Dalfsen where Franz and Marianne Simons run their Hereford Stud. Bulls not selected for service duties are fattened and killed for Nierveer Hereford Meat. The bulls were finished on pasture and were gaining approximately 1.1kgs per day in the summer.
The local butcher kills and dresses the bulls for €1.9 Euros per kilogram dead weight and they usually dress between 240 kgs and 250 kgs.
The carcasses are hung and then cut into 8 equal parts. Each customer receives a share of the primals and sub primals, priced at an average of €7.50 Euros per kilogram. The meat is sold through the shop on the Simon's behalf. This means that each bull is worth about 1800 Euros, less 600 Euros cost to kill them.
CHB LLC Has Explosive Start To 2005 - Certified Hereford Beef Has First 1 Million Pound Week
During the third week of January, licensed packers of Certified Hereford Beef LLC (CHB LLC) sold more than 1 million pounds of product to the program's 400 retail locations, as well as food service outlets.
"Hitting the first 1 million pound week is a milestone," says Doug Miller, vice president of sales for CHB LLC. "However, we expected to be at this level to date with the program and don't have any plans to curve our growth."
This sales achievement further propels the 10-year-old program towards its goal of creating an annual demand of 1 million head of Hereford-influenced cattle. In week four of 2005, Certified Hereford Beef's packers harvested a record number of cattle, exceeding 10,000.
If ranked among the largest United States fed beef packers, CHB LLC would rank ninth based on average weekly harvest.
Miller attributes the program's current status to product quality and reliability, loyal customers and consumer satisfaction. Current and potential customers can be assured that the program has the cattle to supply the
Certified Hereford Beef demand and that producers will respond as additional numbers are needed for future growth, Miller says.
Jim Williams of CHB LLC agrees with Miller on the cow-calf producer support for the program and its future cattle needs.
"In the last 10 years, we've seen producers embrace the success of Certified Hereford Beef," Williams states. "With this momentous growth, we will continue to see current and new producers engage their breeding programs to produce even higher quality cattle in larger numbers to sustain our growth.
A visit Downunder...
The Certified Hereford Beef program Director, Rob Ames, from Kansas City U.S.A. travelled to New Zealand recently and visited Hereford Prime New Zealand Ltd's South Island processing plant in Invercargill.
Laurie Paterson, Chairman of Hereford Prime NZ, Rob Ames Director of Hereford Beef U.S.A, and John Flynn, Director of Bowmont Meats, preview the new Hereford Prime processing plant which will open in a few weeks.
Largest Grill Serves Up Hereford Beef
Henhouse And CHB Team Up With Orowheat
December 19, the Orowheat crew rolled into Kansas City with the worlds
largest grill 55 feet long. Soon after the aroma of Certified Hereford
Beef ribeyes and chuck patties were enticing consumers.
Hen House partnered with two of their vendors Orowheat and Certifi ed Hereford Beef to offer the community a great meal with a fun atmosphere. Approximately 1,000 Hereford hamburgers and ribeye steak sandwiches were served that Saturday.
Orowheat is owned by Mrs. Bairds Bread based out of Texas.
Learn more about the grill at www.theultimatesmokeandgrill.com