British retailers tighten their beef specifications
Retail customers in the UK have moved to tighten their specifications on young bull beef and exclude them from premium ranges.
The move by the supermarket chains has seen young bull beef relegated from higher value steak selections.
Bord Bia's Joe Burke said it may have a minor impact on Irish bull beef. He pointed out that young bulls comprised almost 30pc of the male prime cattle slaughtered in Ireland so far this year. In the UK, young bulls are more of a minority, representing just 16pc of the prime males.
"Some of the British retailers have further restricted their specification to solely include prime steer and heifer beef for their higher value steaks and roasts," he said. He added the increased numbers of young bulls being slaughtered in Ireland this year are mainly destined for markets other than the UK retail sector, including the Continent.