Omagh Meats and the Irish Hereford Breed Society have established a beef partnership called Certified Hereford. The excellent eating quality associated with Hereford coupled with the medium carcase weight has ensured Omagh Meats is able to market the beef as a premium quality product. With an average carcase weight of 280 kg, a conformation class of 0+ and better, an average fat cover of 4L, the result is that each beef primal contains an ideal blend of internal marbling and external fat covering. The expertise of the Group in sales and marketing and the Hereford Society assurances of quality and consistency of supply have resulted in complete customer satisfaction leading to increased and repeat orders. Cattle supplies for Omagh will pre dominantly come from the border counties and surrounding hinterland.
Demand for Certified Hereford branded beef rockets!
One of Belfasts’s leading hotels has confirmed that its patrons just can’t get enough of locally produced Hereford beef. “We put Hereford branded steaks on to our restaurant menu some months ago and the response from our clientele with regard to the eating experience they have enjoyed has been extremely positive,” explained Tony O’Neill, Head Chef in Belfast’s Merchant Hotel. “The beef we are getting is well matured, extremely uniform in quality and, in my opinion, represents the consumate eating experience. The meat is tender, succulent and has a natural taste, which is a unique characteristic of high quality beef.”
Tony attributes these qualities to the natural marbling of Hereford beef. “As a result of this, the intramuscular fat dissolves in the cooking process, thereby releasing all the natural flavours within the meat.”
The man responsible for introducing Hereford beef to Tony O Neill was well known Moira-based meat merchant Peter Hannan. Who comes from a beef farming background and has known for quite some time about the tremendous quality of Hereford Beef. Peter explained that when he became aware of the fact that a guaranteed and consistent supply could be secured, courtesy of the current arrangements between the Foyle Meat Group at Omagh and the Certified Hereford Beef Scheme, he jumped at the chance of getting his hands on it.
In his opinion there is an almost insatiable demand for the quality of beef produced by Hereford Cattle stating that he certainly wants to grow the business: the bottleneck is the shortage of certified supply at the present time and is fully aware that beef farmers are under significant financial pressure. Given this background, he would advise farmers to consider carefully the option of producing Hereford branded beef.
The Certified Hereford Beef Scheme is offering an attractive bonus for all suitable grades of certified cattle. What’s more, the natural qualities of Hereford stock in terms of good temperament and easy finishing make for simpler management on farm. Peter Hannan concluded by saying that: “The key to the reliability and consistency of the product is the sourcing of our supply. We know that the animals are sired by Pedigree registered Hereford bulls and reared to exacting standards of animal health and welfare”. And don’t let anyone say that Peter Hannan is not prepared to back up his own judgement with hard cash. He bid £1,900 to secure the Hereford Champion at Allam’s Christmas Show and Sale 2009.