The BeefQ project, led by Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), will see more than 1,200 consumers take part in a trial designed to improve the eating quality and production of the meat in Wales.
This will be achieved through the testing and demonstration of an enhanced carcase grading system based on the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) model.
BeefQ hopes to benefit the whole industry, support competitive brand differentiation of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Welsh beef in the marketplace and contribute to the long-term sustainability of producers and supply chains, notably farmers.
The Llysfasi campus welcomed 60 people to its trial, including students and staff; those in attendance were asked to taste and test different pieces of beef and grade accordingly during a one-hour session.
IBERS Project Coordinator Dr Pip Nicholas-Davies said Cambria was the first college to take part in the study, adding: “The staff and students were outstanding in their coordination and support of the event.
“The BeefQ project requires 1,200 consumers across Wales to sample a broad variety of beef of different eating quality to build an eating quality prediction system for Wales.
“The difficulties associated with getting 60 people per BeefQ consumer tasting event in the right place at the right time cannot be underestimated so we are extremely grateful to Coleg Cambria for their contribution.”
Students praised the hands-on and practical nature of the demonstration and said it was “very useful” and “beneficial” for their studies.
Project Team Partner Tim Rowe, from Carmarthenshire meat wholesaler Celtica Foods, added: “These events are a great opportunity for Welsh colleges to get involved in this very important project that could have some far reaching benefits, not only for consumers, but also for the Welsh red meat industry.”
Head of Llysfasi Iain Clarke said the college will hold another BeefQ event in January at the college’s Deeside site.
“I would like to thank everyone who came along and supported the BeefQ project,” he said.
“The information collected on the day will be vital to the scheme going forward and help to support the meat industry in Wales as it looks to further improve quality and production.”
For more information on the BeefQ project and to sign up to the bimonthly newsletter, visit www.beefq.wales/index
Visit www.cambria.ac.uk for more on the wide range of courses available at Coleg Cambria.