Aberdeen Angus set to be UK's most popular beef breed

The Aberdeen Angus breed accounted for 17.49% of the beef industry total in 2018
The Aberdeen Angus breed accounted for 17.49% of the beef industry total in 2018

The Aberdeen Angus breed is set to become the country’s most popular breed by the end of 2020, new projections show.

The number of registered Aberdeen Angus and Aberdeen Angus Cross animals continues to rise year-on-year.

Figures show that last year's total accounted for 17.49% of the beef industry total – a figure that is projected to rise to as much as 20% by the end of 2020.

The Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society said this places the breed in a strong position with the leading share of the national beef herd.

It also discussed advancements made over the past 12 months within key schemes, including their Sire Verification programme in which in excess of £100,000 has been invested to date.

Speaking of the breed and its current situation, Society President Paul Jeenes said: “We are currently building and selling more into the market, when not too long ago we were flirting with ‘rare’ breed status.

“As a breed, the Aberdeen Angus has taken some magnificent strides recently and more interest in the breed is being shown by the market.

“The popularity is driven by the consumer demand for Aberdeen Angus sired cattle, which is well-known for its taste, succulence and consistency.”

He said producers are also 'very attracted' to the significant efficiencies that the breed offers within the breeding and feeding of cattle.

“We must continue to build our breed and brand and protect it through providing assurances needed that beef which says ‘Aberdeen-Angus’ on the label, is in fact authentic Aberdeen-Angus beef,” he said.

Authenticity and assurance

Meanwhile, the development of the Sire Verified Aberdeen Angus programme has been further designed to help provide a level of quality assurance and authenticity to the product.

The programme is a tool for retailers and processors that allows them to ensure the integrity of their supply chains is robust, their products are authentic, and provides the badge of quality that closes any doors that can be open to misinterpretation.

It goes a long way towards ring-fencing UK-produced Aberdeen Angus beef and protects the domestic market against potential imports that may be lacking product integrity in any way.

As of January 2019, the society is continuing to invest in the programme, funding the required DNA testing included in the registration fee for all sires entering the herd book.

Chief Executive of the society Barrie Turner said: “This step will strengthen the historic sample-tested database that we have and will continue to strengthen the DNA Sire Verified programme – this step is essential to protect the integrity of the breed and brand.”