Managing volatility is something beef farmers must get used to, according to ABP Manager in the UK Stuart Roberts.

Group Livestock and Strategy Manager for Larry Goodman-owned Anglo Beef Processors (ABP), Stuart Roberts said he is optimistic for the future of the British beef industry but warns of volatile and challenging times ahead.

“I’m optimistic about the future of the beef industry, there are some fantastic opportunities ahead with a growing global demand and pressure on supply, however, I fear there will be an increase in volatility and this is unavoidable, regardless of what agricultural sector you are in and beef farmers must face this fact and adapt their businesses to deal with it,” Roberts told the Welsh National Farmers Union recently.

Roberts explained that technology and technological advances in genetics and improving efficiencies all have a role to play in helping British beef farmers overcome future challenges.

He also spoke of how a carcass grading system, 3D Video Image Analysis (VIA), previously used in Ireland has been introduced at one ABP British beef processing plant to replace manual graders.

Stuart Roberts said processors need to use technology as an efficient way of grading beef cattle, as this will improve the consistency with which beef cattle are graded and then ultimately paying farmers on the yield of different cuts of meat.

“In addition to accurately predicting meat yields this piece of technology can also provide us with information about specific cuts, such as sirloin or rump on individual carcass, this would then reflect to farmers the true value of each carcass. It’s still some time away however it’s a very exciting time for all involved,” he said.