UK BEEF farmers spent between 18 and 30 months producing beasts of the highest quality, only for their meat to be ruined by four or five days of careless processing, it was claimed this week 10 years ago.

According to Pauline Adams, a past chairman and president of the British Belgian Blue Society, and then current vice-president of the breed’s international society, processing practices in 2000 and the marketing philosophy behind them, was betraying the good name of British beef.

She added, however, that Scottish processors were more sympathetic to the quality of the end product.

Mrs Adams launched her attack on UK processors from the platform of a Nuffield scholarship report into the continuing success of the Australian and New Zealand beef industries, where, she claimed, the whole chain of production had a much greater interest and commitment to actual eating quality.

Britain, she warned, had a welter of quality assurance schemes dedicated to banishing the spectre of BSE, but its beef-buying public were still regularly being disappointed by the taste and texture of the product.

“In my opinion, this is the main reason why consumption is continuing to decline. The UK produces some of the finest quality cattle under the best management conditions. Sadly, this quality does not seem to follow through on to the plate,” said Mrs Adams in 2000.

“My consumer research showed that eight out of 10 potential beef buyers would not be confident about cooking beef for an important dinner party because of the risk of it not coming up to expectation and, therefore, causing embarrassment.”

10 years ago

• The Scottish Milk Records Association confirmed that the Mayne herd of Holsteins, run by Dean and Andrew Anderson, from Elgin and milk recorded by Livestock Services (UK), was again the highest yielding herd in Scotland. Their 92 cows averages 12,150kg milk at 3.64% butterfat and 3.23% protein in 305 days. The Andersons also brought the Gold Cup to Scotland when they won at Stoneleigh at September. In second place was the Coopon Carse herd with 113 cows averaging 11,259kg. n A bumper show and sale of bulls ensured that Galloway breeders went home in a relatively confident mood after the spring show and sale of Galloway cattle at Castle Douglas. From a lead call of 6200gns for a bull from the Finlay family, from Blackcraig, Corsock, a further six lots sold at or above the 1500gns mark to bump up the overall average to £1701.42 for 25, up £239.77 on the year, with three more sold.

• Luing cattle breeders enjoyed a cracking good day at the annual sale at Castle Douglas where both the bull and the bulling heifer averages increased on the year. The growing demand for native-bred cattle, combined with the top quality maternal characteristics of the Luing breed, ensured a 95% clearance of the 190 females on show. By the end of the day, the eight bulls sold, peaked at 4000gns on two occasions with the in-calf heifers selling to 800gns four times and the bulling heifers to 720gns twice. The bull average levelled at £2258, up £762 with four more sold.

25 years ago

• Limousin breeders could hardly have asked for a better trade than they had at the Carlisle sale, when the bull average jumped by nearly £400 and females were up more than £1000 on the previous February’s sale. Top price of the sale was 9000gns for the first prize intermediate bull, Lumbylaw Upshot, from influential breeder, Rochard Oates, of Lumbylaw, Edlingham, near Alnwick, Northumberland. The 18-month-old Upshot was sired by Goldies Reservoir by Osiris, the 1982 Royal Show champion. He was out of the 1981 Royal Show champion, Liberte, which Mr Oates bought at the Druk dispersal in 1980 for 7500gns.

• The British Charolais Cattle Society became the first major breed society to officially embrace the far-reaching implications of an EEC directive aimed at introducing standards of registration common to all pedigree herd books within the community. The society decided to change its registration standards from January 1 the next year. This was the biggest policy decision taken by the society’s new council of management which had seen major reshuffled in then recent years.

50 years ago

• Having been worst hit by the heavy snowfalls, North-east farmers on returning home from the Royal Northern Spring Show at Aberdeen would probably have voted their day’s outing a success on the score of the weather alone. With a distinctly promising rising ten-month-old full sister to his previous year’s champion, James G Glashen, Hill Farm, Milltimber, was claiming his sixth championship in the event’s Clydesdale section. His winner was the difficult-to-fault Milltimber Margaret, bought when a foal at foot form her breeder Alex Allison, Heads Inns, Carnwath.

• A total of 22,044 paid admissions were recorded during the four days of the Scottish Dairy Show in the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow – the lowest attendance ever and almost 9000 below the previous years record low of 30,947. Severe weather and snow was blamed for the situation. Humeston Countess Jazz, a six-year-old daughter of Bargower Double Win and Humeston Countess 2nd won the Ayrshire inspection championship at the show for Ian C Gilmour, Maybole.