Consumers to help shape the future of Welsh Beef

The BeefQ project team joined catering students at Llysfasi Coleg Campus, Coleg Cambria on 3 October to serve Welsh Beef samples to taste test volunteers.

The BeefQ project team joined catering students at Llysfasi Coleg Campus, Coleg Cambria on 3 October to serve Welsh Beef samples to taste test volunteers.

07 November 2019

This month, members of the public are putting their taste buds to the test, to help Welsh farmers ensure that they produce consistently top-quality beef.

During this autumn and winter, 1200 members of the public are being recruited to help with the ‘BeefQ’ project, which is led by Aberystwyth University in collaboration with a range of industry partners.

The project is supported by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.

Two of the BeefQ’s key partners will be holding major taste-testing sessions between 14-19 November, where members of the public will get to score different samples of beef on measures such as taste and tenderness.

The Royal Welsh Showground will be the venue for the Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) tasting session on 14 November.

And on 18th and 19th of November tasting sessions will take place at Aberystwyth University’s TaMed Da restaurant on the Penglais campus.

The project aims to help farmers and processors in Wales to produce beef that meets the future consumer’s needs. BeefQ will build the capacity to implement an eating quality assessment system in Wales to boost the eating quality of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) Welsh Beef, and returns for farmers.

To date, over 2000 beef carcases from processors in Wales have been graded using the Meat Standards Australia meat-eating prediction models. Samples from some of these carcases are now being sampled by hundreds of testers at events throughout Wales to help develop the scientific blueprint for outstanding-tasting beef.

“These taste-testing sessions are a vital part of the BeefQ project,” said HCC’s Meat Quality Executive Dr Eleri Thomas. “Work so far has concentrated on how the leading grading systems in use overseas can be put into practice here in Wales. But we need the input of people who enjoy eating PGI Welsh Beef to ensure that the research takes into account the tastes of UK consumers, and delivers the excellent eating experience they want.”

Dr Pip Nicholas-Davies, the BeefQ Project Coordinator at Aberystwyth University said, “Consumers are the drivers of value through the beef supply chain and their willingness to pay is influenced by the consistency of their beef eating quality experiences and perceived value for money. It makes sense then that we use consumers as the tools for assessing meat eating quality.”

She added, “The tasting sessions across Wales are being run with the help of students from Aberystwyth University and Further Education colleges so that they can see in practice how an eating quality system is developed and really grasp the importance of consumer satisfaction for developing a high value and sustainable beef industry. Involving these students, from catering and agriculture courses, provides an additional legacy for the project.”

Details of the upcoming BeefQ consumer tasting events, and how to register for one in your area, are available on the BeefQ Project website