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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnanehttps://www.thatsfarming.com/
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘The real potential value is in the fifth quarter, which farmers are giving away’

In this podcast, Seamus Maye, explains to That’s Farming’s readers what the fifth quarter is.

“The real potential value is in the fifth quarter, the quarter that farmers are currently giving away,” Seamus Maye has told That’s Farming.

He commented that people would have commonly called the fifth quarter waste, but as he went to outline, that is far from the cast.

Aside from the main beef cuts that are taken from the carcass, the remainder of the carcass is generally referred to as the fifth quarter.

He told us: “That amounts to roughly 50% of the live weight of the animal.”

“Farmers that go to the factory with their beef do not get paid for roughly 50% of the animal’s liveweight, but they are not getting paid for, for example, the heart, the liver, the kidneys, tongues, stomach, the intestine, horns, head, ears, glands, embryonic fluid, ect.”

“They are worth a lot of money, particuarly as the Asian countries become more affluent, the Asian tastes are more different than European tastes, so they go for areas such as the tongue, that Europeans simply will not consume.”

“There is a growing market for edible fifth-quarter in other countries. Aside from edible foods, the fifth quarter is where the real money and the real potential are.”


He explained that ineligible fats from beef are now used in making pharmaceutical, cosmetics, household and domestic goods, for example, ointments, binders for plasters, footballs, lubricants, soaps, lipsticks, face and hand creams and ingredients for explosives.

Maye added that “it goes even further” as fatty acids are used in the production of chemicals, biodegradable detergents, and pesticides.

Meanwhile, he told this publication that bones, horns and hooves are used to make buttons, piano keys, glues and fertiliser.

Moreover, he outlined that there are more than one hundred individual drugs – including insulin – are derived from cattle.

Hear more in this farming news podcast:


Read more farming news today on That’s Farming.

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