Advertise with

Wagyu SA takes the bull by the horns.
Wagyu SA takes the bull by the horns.

Wagyu SA takes the bull by the horns


Elmarie Helberg, AgriOrbit - Jun 26th 2018, 14:00

Wagyu beef is on everyone’s lips – figuratively. According to role-players in the industry, Wagyu is currently the most sought-after beef in the world. The South African beef industry recently got on board and, after the establishment of the Wagyu Society of South Africa, held a roadshow across the country to fuel participation from the industry. 

During the Pretoria leg of the roadshow, Dr. Fanie Steyn, chairman of Wagyu SA gave an overview of Wagyu SA, focusing on the current strategic plan of the society. Corporate goals include increasing the Wagyu value chain’s ability to supply premium quality beef in sufficient volume to meet market demand, to increase consumer demand for South African Wagyu premium quality beef, to socially uplift emerging beef producers, enabling their involvement in the premium quality beef market and to create an effective service company delivering value-adding services to its members and customers.

“Wagyu carcasses are fetching the highest prices of any beef cattle carcasses and the industry has the end consumer in mind. This sets it apart from the coloured/rare game industry which has been purely speculative without the end consumer in mind,” Fanie said.

Another aspect that was discussed during the roadshows was traceability in the Wagyu industry. According to the role-players, Wagyu will be one of the first breeds in South Africa to have full traceability of its animals in the entire value chain through the registered Certified Wagyu Beef protocol, audited by SAMIC. Furthermore, all breeding animals have to be DNA proven – this will ensure the purity of the breed and safeguard breeders.

Wagyu will also be one of the first breeds in South Africa to implement a Joint Single Step Breedplan analysis with the Australian Wagyu Association. This will enable them to provide genomically enhanced estimated breeding values to all the animals on the database, literally saving their members a number of years.

According to Brian Angus of Woodview Wagyu Beef, beef is sold as a commodity in South Africa. The problem with this is that all beef is generic and the beef industry is governed by a classification system that is pigeon-holing beef. There is therefore very little scope to differentiate between beef products without a marbling based grading system. “To compete in the export market, we need to grade the same as the rest of the world,” Angus says. The opportunities open to the Wagyu industry are to supply a growing niche market, to supply the domestic and export markets and to increase the market share of beef sold in the country, by improving eating quality.

The Wagyu Society of South Africa has established the Certified Wagyu Beef Program (CWB) which aims to ensure the integrity of the South African Wagyu beef supply chain and so assure the end customer of product reliability and quality.

Related News

Boost for SA's economy as China lifts its beef ban
07/08/2019 - 09:10
Within one month of the meeting between President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Xi Jinping at the G20, China has announced that it is lifting the ban on South African beef exports to China. This will be a major boost to South Africa’s economy given that China is the largest consuming market for South African beef and related products.

American meat goes on sale in SA - USA
03/03/2016 - 09:17
Washington - South Africa is allowing sales of American chicken, pork, and beef products throughout the country, meeting benchmarks for resolving a 15-year trade dispute with the United States, Washington's top trade official said on Wednesday (2 March).

Meat producers expect food prices to soar
02/03/2016 - 09:41
Parliament – The effects of the drought conditions currently affecting the country’s agricultural sector could hit the pockets of ordinary South Africans soon, meat producers warned as they briefed MPs in Parliament on Tuesday (1 March).

No certified beef exports to the Philippines - Namibia
21/01/2015 - 14:38
The Ministry of Agriculture said that the Foot and Mouth outbreak in the Zambezi Region and Mukwe constituency of the Kavango East Region has no impact on the country’s beef exports.

Hunters want shops to keep game meat
20/06/2014 - 11:54
Low-priced game meat sold in the supermarket, alongside beef and chicken, could soon become a reality if South African game hunters have their way.