Sainsbury’s excludes region from Hereford sales

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Fresh meat from one of Britain’s oldest native breeds of cattle will hit the shelves of Sainsbury’s for the first time from today, although not across its stores in Yorkshire.

Hereford beef is now being stocked in 137 of the supermarket giant’s outlets in the Midlands and in the south of the country but stores in Yorkshire will continue to sell Scottish beef instead, Sainsbury’s said.

A supermarket spokesperson said this was because of the proximity of herds of the breeds to certain stores, however Yorkshire is a Hereford hotspot because the majority of meat processors are based in the North, the Hereford Cattle Society said.

Society promotions manager David Deakin said he was pleased the breed was being brought to the attention of consumers, even if this is only across selected parts of the country.

“We are delighted that one of the ‘Big Four’ has taken it on, particularly on their fresh meat counters which makes it a prime product. This is another success for the Hereford breed. The first retailer to sell Hereford was Waitrose in the late 90s.”

The traditional Hereford breed is listed on the watchlist of under threat species by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. There are a limited number of native Herefords left, but there are much greater numbers of Hereford cattle that have imported bloodlines, the breed society said. Numbers of these cattle are thriving, Mr Deakin explained: “We are now registering well over 7,000 pedigree calves every year and the Society’s membership increased by over 100 last year for the second successive year.

“We are expecting 130 new members this year which will be the highest for 30 years.”