Stockyard Beef’s Black Wagyu brand was named champion grain-fed beef exhibit at the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show last Friday, following a year of major wins for the company’s branded products.
Stockyard’s winning exhibit was described by the judges as a ‘standout’, with well distributed marbling, nice eye-muscle size, great meat colour and exceptional tenderness.
The win caps a year of major awards for Stockyard including grand championship medals at the Brisbane and Melbourne Shows’ 2017 branded beef awards.
Stockyard won the Champion Australian Meat category at the Australian Food Awards, conducted by The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria with its Stockyard Wagyu Black.
Earlier this year, Stockyard’s Wagyu won grand champion branded beef of show at the Royal Queensland Food and Wine Show, from a record number of entrants.
Stockyard managing director Lachie Hart said the awards were testament to the company’s long history of producing consistent, high-quality beef for Australian and international consumers.
A number of producers, from the Mackay region of Queensland to the Albury – Wodonga border, supply Wagyu to Stockyard and in turn receive detailed feedlot and carcase performance.
The current push is for high-content Wagyu rather than first cross Wagyu/ Angus or Wagyu/ Holstein.
“With full blood or high content Wagyu there is greater application for those cattle to perform,” said Mr Hart.
Cross bred cattle enter the feedlot at 400 to 450kg liveweight for 200 days, with full blood Wagyu entering the feedlot at 350-400kg for 400 days.
“Our target weight is 400kg plus carcase weight,” said Mr Hart.
Stockyard employs a Japanese nutritionist who formulates rations based on seasonal white grains, not yellow. Feed is ‘tweaked’ to bring about maximum nutritional advantage.
“It’s incredibly scientific,” Mr Hart said. “To generate marbling we know that 30 per cent comes from genetics, the same comes from a stress-free environment and the same again from correct rations. We can control a lot of that.”
Mr Hart said the Sydney Royal Fine Food Show competition was world class in its objective judgement with every sample exactly prepared and the only subjectivity coming from qualified judges checking for tenderness, juiciness, visual appearance and taste. “Australia is a leader in its assessment of branded beef,” he said.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Kerwee Group, which includes Stockyard.