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2017 Wagyu Branded Beef competition showcases ‘best of the best’

by Beef Central, 03 May 2017

tajima-logoTajima Wagyu from the JBS-owned Andrews Meat Industries in Sydney has claimed top honours in the 2017 Wagyu Branded Beef competition.

Twenty one premium Wagyu entries in four classes were assessed by a panel of 16 judges in mid-March, with the winners announced at a gala dinner during the Australian Wagyu Association’s annual conference in Albury on Tuesday night.

The four classes judged were Fullblood, crossbred, commercial steak (mid marbling range) and gourmet sausage. Entries are judged on standard sensory taste panel criteria including tenderness, flavour, juiciness and overall liking, as well as visual raw state.

Entries had to score a minimum percentage of total points on offer in each class (which varied for each class) to qualify for a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Of the 21 entries from around Australia, three earned Gold medals, six Silver and seven Bronze. Five did not receive sufficient points to earn a medal.

An entry from Andrews Meat Industries’ Tajima Brand, produced from an F1 Wagyu-Angus, scored 773 points out of a possible 910 points to win the crossbred class.

As the highest scoring entry of the first three classes, Tajima Wagyu was also named Grand Champion Wagyu Brand. Tajima also claimed the Wagyu beef class at last year’s Brisbane Royal branded beef competition, and scored a silver medal at the equivalent Sydney competition.

All cattle for the Andrew Meat Industries program are fed at JBS’s Prime City feedlot at Griffith in southern NSW. The product is sold into the upper end of the food service and retail segments in Australia and overseas.

JBS Australia took a majority stake in the Andrews Meats value-adding and portion-cutting business in Sydney in July 2014. Andrews established its Wagyu brand programs – Tajima for crossbred cattle and Shiro Kin for Fullbloods – prior to JBS investment.

The two other Gold medals were both awarded to AA Co’s Westholme brand, with winning entries in the Crossbred Wagyu class (748 points out of a possible 910) and the Commercial Wagyu Steak (Marble score 5-7) class (671 points out of a possible 910 points).

AA Co last July re-launched its its premium Wagyu programs, under the Westholme and Wylarah (super premium) labels. The company’s brand website makes only the most discrete of references to Wagyu as part of the brand story, instead focusing on the Westholme/Wylarah ‘experience,’ under the phrase, “The art of Australian beef.”

Wagyu branded beef judgingSilver medals were awarded to:

  • Stockyard Beef in the crossbred Wagyu class (722 points of out 910)
  • Tierawoomba Hughes Pastoral in the commercial Wagyu steak class (662 points out of 910)
  • Jack’s Creek in the commercial Wagyu steak class (642 points out of 910)
  • Mort & Co’s The Pheonix in the commercial Wagyu steak class (642 points out of 910)
  • Stanbroke’s Diamantina in the commercial Wagyu steak class (640 points out of 910)
  • Craig Cook’s Prime Quality Meats in the Gourmet Sausage class (1159 points out of a possible 1600 points).

Bronze medals were awarded to:

  • Gina Rinehart’s 2GR Premium Fullblood Wagyu in the Fullblood Wagyu 100pc class (670 out of a possible 910 points) (click here to view earlier Beef Central story on 2GR brand launch)
  • Mort & Co’s The Pheonix in the Crossbred Wagyu class (682 points out of 910)
  • Rangers Valley’s WX9 in the Crossbred Wagyu class (673 points out of 910)
  • Tajima Wagyu in the commercial Wagyu steak class (617 points out of 910)
  • Stockyard Beef in the commercial Wagyu steak class (609 points out of 910)
  • Pardoo Beef Corporation’s First Growth Beef in the commercial Wagyu steak class (606 points out of 910). Pardoo was last year’s grand champion at the Wagyu branded beef awards
  • Hammond Farms’ Robbins Island Wagyu in in the commercial Wagyu steak class (581 points out of 910)

 

More details on the Gold Medal winning entries:

tajima-logoTajima Wagyu – Crossbred Wagyu – Score 773

Exhibitor: Andrews Meat Industries

Sire: Multi-sire joined

Dam: Angus

Wagyu content: F1 – 50%

Marbling: 49%

Fineness of marbling index: 1.8

Rib Eye Area: 118.0

Approx. days on feed: 375

Approx. age at slaughter: 27 months

Feed ingredients: Wheat, barley and other

Target market % Domestic: 15%, export: 85%

Target carcase wt. range: 380kg +

Processor: JBS Riverina

Judges’ comments: “Extremely tender, yet still firm to the palate. Juicy, silky, enduring flavour “the works”’

 

westholme-logo-300x300AACo’s Westholme – Crossbred Wagyu – Score 748

Breeder: Australian Agricultural Company

Sire: N/A

Dam: AACo Composite

Wagyu Content: F1 – 50% min.

Marbling: 32%

Fineness of marbling index: 1.8

Rib Eye Area: 90.0

Approx. days on feed: 300

Approx. age at slaughter: 30 months

Feed ingredients: Raised on natural grasses. Finished on a ration including wheat, sorghum and molasses.

Target market Export: 100%

Target carcase wt. range: 400kg

Processor: JBS Beef City

Judges’ comments: “Tender, very juicy, great flavour. Rich and rounded”

 

westholme-logo-300x300AACo’s Westholme – Commercial Wagyu Steak – Score 641

Breeder: Australian Agricultural Company

Sire: N/A

Dam: AACo Composite

Wagyu Content: F1 – 50% min

Marbling: 37%

Fineness of marbling index: 2.7

Rib Eye Area: 82.0

Approx. days on feed: 300

Approx. age at slaughter: 30 months

Feed ingredients: Raised on natural grasses. Finished on a ration including wheat, sorghum and molasses.

Target market % Domestic: 0%

Export: 100%

Target carcase et. Range: 400kg

Processor: JBS Beef City

Judges’ comments: “Wonderful clean and caramel aroma, very tender beef with cereal flavour and very juicy”

‘One of the best pieces we have ever produced’

Tajima Wagyu

Andrews Meat Industries’ Jeremy Stuart and Kylie Schuller, with judge and sponsor John Kilroy of Cha Cha Char, Brisbane.

Andrews Meat Industries director Jeremy Stuart said the winning entry was hand picked by Andrews’ Supply Chain Co-ordinator Kylie Schuller.

“We picked one of the best pieces that we believe we have ever produced – the combination of the size of the eye muscle, the high marbling content – overall we think it was as good a piece as we have seen come through our production line.

“It is vindication of what we are doing. Since we have come together with JBS and we are controlling our whole supply chain

“In the past we were buying a lot of carcases over the hooks, but since JBS has joined with us over the last three years, we are controlling our own supply chain, and this is vindication that what we are doing is working.”

Mr Stuart said Andrews Meat Industries has about 7000 cattle on feed at JBS’ Prime City Feedlot at Griffith. It is processing about 500 cattle a month through JBS’ Riverina Beef plant at Yanco, and plans to increase these volumes.

“We’re not the biggest guys getting around, we’re increasing slowly, but we’re focusing on increasing our numbers without scarifying our quality

“So rather than just going out there and buying any cattle, we have kept the focus on the premium select genetics we have in these programs.

“Since we started we have slowly increased our average marble score across the program, which is purely from genetic selection of the cattle we choose to put into the program.”



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