One of the UK’s leading beef businesses, Warrendale Wagyu, had laid out its plans to more than double its production by 2025 due to continued demand and the thriving market.
It currently processes 130 cattle a week, which is equivalent to 105,000 burgers and 18,000 steaks, its 2023 conference, attended by more than 250 farming delegates, heard.
The plans were outlined at the company’s inaugural two-day conference held in Shropshire last month.
The business has “grown significantly” since its formation in 2018, and it is looking to increase its number of farming partners to realise its ambition.
Many of the delegates were from the company’s 500-strong network of farming partners and were thanked for their “progressiveness” in joining the premium Wagyu market.
Other attendees not already working with Warrendale expressed an interest in becoming a Wagyu partner.
Warrendale Wagyu updated delegates on its aspirations to “rapidly expand” this network further and secure more farm partners at every stage of the process, from dairy farmers to calf rearers and finishing farms.
A large focus was placed on the robustness and resilience of its collaborative supply chain, which has been its key focus for the first five years in business and security for the entire supplier network is one of the company’s key values.
However, Warrendale’s Managing Director, Tom Richardson, also outlined an increased effort over the next five years on improving quality even further while focussing on the industry’s net-zero targets.
Whilst they already have a ‘good story to tell’ around a reduced carbon footprint thanks to using dairy-cross Wagyu and its ability to utilise the full animal, it will work with its supply chain and use the extensive data it has gathered over the last five years to make further improvements.
Tom Richardson at Warrendale Wagyu said:
“The conference was a great opportunity to further cement the British Wagyu industry and bring people together that all have the same vision for the sector.”
“British Wagyu is the fastest growing breed in the UK – up 30% in 2022 –, and we are confident that together we can increase this even further over the coming years.”
“Ultimately, our goal is to protect the premium quality whilst growing the full supply chain sustainably, and this was our opportunity to be completely unified on this with all our partners and customers.”
“It was also great to welcome a number of international delegates,” Richardson added.
Home delivery service
Detailing its consumer home delivery service, the company said it was now delivering between 200 and 500 parcels each week directly to UK homes and that over a quarter of these customers (28%) are 25- to 34-year-olds.
It explained how it is gaining exposure to the important ‘TikTok generation’ by “selling the meal, not the meat” through digital marketing strategies.
The conference was held in partnership with the British Wagyu Breeders Association and Wyndford Wagyu.
Attendees also heard from industry-leading speakers from Aldi, the Australian Wagyu Association, Genus ABS and Red Tractor.
At the evening dinner, £8,219 was raised for charity and will be split evenly between the charities, My Name5 Doddie, raising money for MND, and the Farming Community Network (FCN).
Guests were treated to canapes by world-class dining chain Hakkasan Group and Wagyu Tomahawk steaks. Warrendale Gin was also gifted to delegates.
The British Wagyu Breeders Association also presented its first-ever ‘British Wagyu Ambassador Award’ posthumously to Mike Tucker, who was the founding chairman of the BWA. The award was collected by his son, Andrew.
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