Keith Williams  -  Does the EUROP grid work for farmer or the supermarket

Royal Welsh Agricultural Society

I am Keith Williams and I live at the Hendy which has been farmed by our family since 1902. It is located close to a small town called Lladrindod Wells in the hills of Mid-Wales. I got married to Alison in1994 and we have two daughters aged 17 and 15. We farm beef and sheep. The beef herd are pedigree Welsh Black which are performance recorded and currently have a young bull undergoing performance trails at Aberystwyth University. The sheep flock starts from pure welsh mountain which are then crossed with Lleyn and Blue Faced Liecester rams, these crosses are then covered by Texel rams to produce finished lambs for Waitrose. There is also a small flock of Texels which are performance recorded pursuing growth rates and muscle dephts.  We were a demonstration farm for HCC  from 2008 till 2011. I did a HCC Scholarhip to New Zealand to study 'Farming without Subsidies'.

The subject I have chosen to study is the grading of red meat. This starts from the fact that we have been using performance recorded bulls and rams for a number of years and I felt we were not getting prperly rewarded for the incresed meat yield that we were giving to the abbitoir and supermarket. The current grading system does not take into account what is probably the most important criteria of eating quality and saleable meat yield. I hope to travel to Ireland, America, Austrailia and New Zealand to see if we can learn anything from their grading systems.