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  • Writer's pictureAbel Forlino

Introducing The British Wagyu Breeders Association

Association origin.


The British Wagyu Breeders Association (BWA) was established in July 2014 by a group of Wagyu breeders and enthusiasts from around the UK, its aim being to promote British Wagyu beef and represent the interests of its members at home and abroad. The official launch took place in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, in November 2014. Since then, the Association has undergone significant growth with membership now at over 700 and annual Fullblood and Crossbred births totalling more than 20,000. Underpinning this success is the British Wagyu marque backed by full traceability and quality assurance together with investment into MIJ (Meat Image Japan) carcase camera technology to measure and reward the unique marbling found in Wagyu - the world’s luxury beef.


Breed Director/CEO of Association or representative. British Wagyu Breeders Association Company Secretary - Richard Saunders. Richard grew up on the family farm in Buckinghamshire and has a degree in German & French. Working in Japan 1995-1997 must have sown the seed for his love of all things Wagyu as he joined together with four original breed pioneers to set up the British Wagyu Breeders Association in 2014 having previously worked for the British Limousin Cattle Society since 2004. Believed to be the first new Breed Society in around 20 years, the Association has since gained official UK Government recognition and grown its membership to over 700 with annual births of 20,000+.

Richard recently established his own small Wagyu enterprise, Home Farm Wagyu, at the family farm.


o   Chairman/President of Association or representative. British Wagyu Breeders Association Director – Philip Maddocks. Having established Wyndford Wagyu at his farm in Shropshire, Philip joined the WBA Board in 2019 and also sits on the World Wagyu Council Marketing Committee. Says Philip: “The WBA is working with all members in the UK to develop the MIJ camera as the future standard. This will enable data to be shared with our international colleagues and will ultimately result in the breeding of more productive, and efficient, animals in the future to meet the needs of our very discerning clientele.” Philip co-hosted the British Wagyu Conference at his farm in May 2023.


o   Association mission statement or goal or interest


The British Wagyu Breeders Association (BWA) aims to grow the reach of British Wagyu across beef and genetics markets both at home and abroad. Through our targeted marketing, PR and events we promote the advantages of Wagyu – the World’s Luxury Beef – to commercial farmers and Fullblood breeders as well as to our customers – wholesalers, retailers, butchers, farm shops and the general public. At the cornerstone of this is an industry-leading quality assurance scheme, full DNA traceability and unique branding.

 


o   Participation / role in WWC. The British Wagyu Breeders Association is a founder member of the World Wagyu Council (WWC) with WBA Director Jim Bloom having attended the inaugural meeting in Australia in 2015. WBA Company Secretary, Richard Saunders, is an Executive Member of the World Wagyu Council with WBA Directors Chris Dickinson and Philip Maddocks sitting on the Technical & Marketing Committees respectively. The UK is committed to the opportunities that the WWC offers in terms of data sharing and business efficiencies that can be generated by mutual co-operation. It is this shared vision internationally that is driving the World Wagyu Council forward. The UK looks forward to co-hosting the World Wagyu Conference jointly with Germany in 2029.



o   LATEST BCMS FIGURES REFLECT CONTINUED WAGYU GROWTH


Figures released by the British Cattle Movement Service (BCMS) for the first nine months of 2023 reveal a marked increase in births of British Wagyu-sired calves. Known for its highly marbled premium beef, the period January to September saw 23,808 Wagyu births in England, Wales & Scotland compared to 17,083 in the whole of the previous year. Of these, 22071 were crossbred (sired by a Wagyu bull), and 1737 purebred or Fullblood. From a standing start, Wagyu now represents 1.5% of the 1.62 million beef-sired calves born in Great Britain Jan-Sept 2023 – up from 1% in 2022. A number of factors are influencing the success of Wagyu, including: its reputation as the world’s luxury beef; consumers eating ‘less but best’; farmers wanting shorter gestation, lower birthweight and calving ease; continued growth in beef from the dairy herd; and the supply chain looking to differentiate by price and quality; and, of course, demand from consumers and retailers.

You will find a breakdown by country below:

 

England

Scotland

Wales

Total

Wagyu crossbred

14,355

3,564

4,152

22,071

Wagyu purebred

968

400

369

1,737

Total

 

 

 

23,808

Source BCMS Figs Jan-Sept 2023



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