ABP Food Group strikes deal to boost beef quality

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Meat Cattle Dna

ABP is a major exporter of beef throughout Europe
ABP is a major exporter of beef throughout Europe
ABP Food Group is partnering an animal genetics firm, Genus, to deliver more sustainable and higher quality meat to consumers internationally, boosting value sales.

The beef and lamb supplier refused to disclose the terms of the deal, which is understood to be in effect for several years. It is expected to deliver concrete benefits to ABP’s farmer suppliers from the second half of this year.

However, the company said it would improve product differentiation in beef cattle, enabling it to meet customer demand effectively.

“The project is about identifying genetic traits, then identifying adults ​[animals] with those traits​,” an ABP spokesman told FoodManufacture.co.uk.

The company would provide supply chain data enabling Genus to develop a custom index for beef bulls dedicated to ABP, the meat processor said in a statement.

Sustainable beef supply

This would create a more sustainable beef supply generating value by maximising animal weight gain achievable through feeding and ultimately delivering better quality products to shoppers.

ABP already operates comprehensive DNA swabbing of all cattle slaughtered, so would be able to quickly identify the best strains of cattle required to deliver retailers’ requirements.

The firm would pay Genus a royalty based on the knock-on benefits from its genetic research.

“This is an important development for our business and we are delighted to be working with Genus, a global leader in the field of animal genetic,” ​said ABP ceo Paul Finnerty. “Major strides in genetic improvement have been made in pork, poultry and dairy in recent decades, but beef has lagged behind.

‘Better quality’

“Now is the time for this to change. Collaborating with Genus we see the potential for producing even better quality beef from a more sustainable and efficient supply chain, thereby underpinning the competiveness of our business.”

Genus ceo Karim Bitar said: “ABP has a track record of implementing cutting edge technology in order to produce high quality beef with maximum efficiency, and we are delighted to be working with them to drive this significant opportunity.”

ABP stressed the technology would draw on advanced breeding techniques, rather than genetic modification (GM), which is the source of continued controversy in the EU.

The company is the largest beef processor in the UK and Ireland, employs 8,000 people at 40 facilities worldwide and is a major exporter of beef throughout Europe.

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