Aberdeen-Angus breed increases influence on British Beef industry

2569
16 March 2015

The Aberdeen-Angus breed has once again increased its influence on the British beef industry, cementing it’s position as the most popular native beef breed sire in the UK with more than 17% of all beef breed sired calves registered with the British Cattle Movement Service in 2014 being sired by Aberdeen-Angus bulls.

As well as being the most popular native sire, the Aberdeen-Angus breed is the country’s second most popular beef breed overall and increased its influence on BCMS calf registrations by 9% on 2013 to a total of 296,125.

These impressive figures came in a year which saw a number of leading Continental breeds losing ground with two of the most popular breeds both seeing numbers fall in 2014.

The increase in the breed’s influence is a result of several factors, believes Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Ron McHattie. “Importantly it is being driven by a demand for Aberdeen-Angus sired beef from consumers.

“Angus beef is now being sold in more major retail chains than ever before and that, coupled with demand from the butcher and catering sectors, is resulting in an increasing volume of Aberdeen-Angus cattle being required by processors.

“This in turn is resulting in premium prices in both the prime and store cattle sales rings and rewards those producers who have chosen to use Aberdeen-Angus sires in the suckler and dairy herds.”

It is also a worthy acknowledgement of the hard work done by UK Aberdeen-Angus breeders to produce modern bulls of the type required by the commercial beef sector.

"Advancements in the use of estimated breeding values, coupled with the renowned easy calving and easier care attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed have led to large numbers of commercial suckler farmers switching to the breed in recent years," adds Mr McHattie.

"The Aberdeen-Angus breed is firmly fixed as the second most popular beef breed sire in the UK and this looks set to continue further as increasing numbers of retailers look to capitalise on the exceptionally high quality of beef in the coming years."

Commercial farmers are being drawn to the Aberdeen-Angus breed both as a result of premium prices, but also its ability to finish on forage-based diets and to thrive in all parts of the UK, explained Mr McHattie. "As beef farmers further scrutinise costs they are seeking out cattle which require less concentrate feeding and which can maximise productivity from lower inputs. The Aberdeen-Angus fits the bill perfectly, both as a terminal sire and as a suckler cow."

TABLE

Major beef breed registrations in 2013 and 2014

 

2013

2014

% change

Aberdeen-Angus

271,562

296,125

+9%

Hereford

83,110

92,897

+11.8%

British Blue

144,830

149,338

+3.1%

Charolais

196,073

189,308

-3.5%

Limousin

497,323

486,218

-2.2%

Simmental

140,399

138,990

-1%