Landmark Morrisons deal for popular beef breed

Morrisons is set to launch its Beef Shorthorn range in September.
Morrisons is set to launch its Beef Shorthorn range in September.
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A dedicated range of meat from a breed of cattle that continues to grow in popularity will hit the shelves of Morrisons supermarkets from September after six years of work.

The exclusive deal between the British Shorthorn Society and the Bradford-based retailer will see a range of Beef Shorthorn steaks, mince and other cuts go on sale in selected stores, including some in Yorkshire.

Livestock farmers hailed the deal for providing much needed certainty for their businesses at a time of farm gate price volatility.

Announced at the Great Yorkshire Show, it comes as the national Beef Shorthorn herd continues its rapid expansion and record numbers of breed were entered into year’s show.

Joe Mannion, head of livestock procurement at Morrisons, said the challenge now was to recruit more Beef Shorthorn farmers to its supply chain.

At present, the retailer works with around 200 producers across the country.

Mr Mannion said: “As we grow the Beef Shorthorn scheme we are actively seeking new farmers to join our producer group.”

The Shorthorn Beef range will have the official Beef Shorthorn Society logo on its packaging and will be sold under Morrisons’ ‘The Best’ brand.

All the beef is processed in the supermarket’s own abattoirs.

Frank Milnes, chief executive of the Beef Shorthorn Society, professed the quality of the meat.

He said: “It’s got the marbling, it’s cooks very well and the bottom line is it tastes great.

“Six years ago there was not enough Beef Shorthorns to launch a scheme like this so we worked with Society members to grow the breed.”

Cattle registrations with the Beef Shorthorn Society have increased by 8.92 per cent to 3,833 head in the last 12 months, adding to a five-year trend which has seen registrations rise by more than 39 per cent since 2010.