Six Otago and Southland beef farmers have partnered with AngusPure New Zealand in a programme to improve the quality and taste of the meat - and their returns.

AngusPure New Zealand announced the new initiative last week.

AngusPure is the official beef brand of Angus New Zealand, 50% owned by the industry's association with the remaining half privately owned.

Director Guy Sargent said the brand had partnered with 63 Angus breeders nationwide in the programme.

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''It is a new initiative for the brand,'' he said.

AngusPure New Zealand had invited the association's 180 Angus member breeders from throughout the country to become part of the new initiative and 63 who had similar goals to improve the end result on the plate had applied to be partners.

Every breeder had different aspirations and goals for what they wanted to achieve with their studs and their genetics.

''That could be focusing on high country genetics, fertility or longevity - all sorts of areas - and lots of people focus on developing good eating experiences with the steak on the plate.

''They [the 63] are all like-minded people who focus on good eating experiences.

''We are putting a stake in the ground now.''

Of the 63, six are from Otago and Southland: David Marshall, of Benatrade, Invercargill; Ceri Lewis, of Mt Linton, Otautau; Graeme and Stuart Duncan, of Penvose, Wedderburn; Trevor and Karen Peters, of Peters Genetics, Millers Flat; Katherine and Phil McCallum, of Rockley, Balfour, and Jeremy and Sally Gunton, of Umbrella Range, Waikaia.

While each of the elite stud breeders retains their own best management practices and clients, as well as buying in or continuing to improve their own genetics, they will share genetic and management information to other partners with the overall aim of improving the meat quality for the consumer.

Each animal in the programme will have a specific ear tag so the processors will know to filter back the relevant information to both the animal owners and AngusPure, as part of the improvement initiative.

AngusPure will also get additional information from retailers and consumers about improving the end result.

It also encourages commercial farmers to buy their bulls from those stud partners.
He said while they had 63 partners at present, some might choose to leave or others might join in the future.

''We need pull-through from the consumers rather than push-through from the breeders.''

AngusPure has applied for a licence to use the Beef + Lamb New Zealand promotion ''taste pure nature'', which will showcase New Zealand beef and lamb offshore, and is to be launched in Los Angeles on March 21, but it has yet to be confirmed if they are to be part of it.

Southern Rural Life