To understand the satisfaction of Canadian beef consumers, a Retail Beef Satisfaction Benchmark was completed as part of the 2014-18 National Beef Quality Audit.
Goals of the retail beef study were to determine:
- the importance of tenderness, juiciness and flavour
- consumer satisfaction levels with Canadian beef steaks
- the tenderness of Canadian beef steaks
Consumer satisfaction with retail beef in Canada was assessed using four cuts of steak (boneless cross rib, top sirloin, inside round, or strip loin) from 75 stores across Canada. A total of 1200 randomly selected consumers were provided with one cut of steak, instructed to prepare it at home and to provide a score out of ten for juiciness, flavour, tenderness and overall rating. Consumers were screened to ensure they had some experience in preparing beef products and had consumed beef in the past year. The same retailers also provided 680 steaks which were tested for tenderness using a technique called the Warner-Bratzler method at Agriculture and Agri-Food (AAFC) laboratory in Lacombe, AB.
The consumer satisfaction assessment revealed that 79% of the test consumers gave an overall score of 7/10 or higher. Of the 1,200 consumers, 288 gave their steak a perfect rating (10/10). When the rest of the consumers were asked, “Why wasn’t it perfect?”, approximately 12% of study consumers felt their cooking methods were solely or partially responsible. The consumers’ main concern (46%) was with the texture (tenderness and juiciness) of their steak. Flavour and fat content were least often noted as a concern (9% and 6% respectively). Continue reading
Injection site lesions visible on the carcass surface have increased to nearly 14% of non-fed cattle and 8% of fed cattle. Even in areas that are inches away from injection sites can result in tissue damage causing tougher meat and lower eating quality. As a result, injection site lesions cost the industry $0.56/head or $1.63 million in 2016. That’s up considerably from 0.21/head or $662,951 in 2011.
What do you need to know?
Animals should be properly restrained to ensure the safety of both yourself and the animal. This will also give greater access to the neck area to improve delivery accuracy and reduce the risk of broken needles.
Use subcutaneous (below the skin) when possible versus intermuscular (into the muscle) when administering injections. Intermuscular injections generate a greater risk of developing a reaction to the treatment and can create injection abscesses and bruising. Continue reading
Beef quality defects, like bruises and lesions, cause economic losses to the Canadian beef industry due to reductions in usable meat and the added labour to remove these defects from the carcass.
This video from a new video series on the results of the latest National Beef Quality Audit (NBQA) provides the answers to which carcass defects the beef industry has improved upon since the previous audit and the areas we as an industry need to work on. The ultimate objective of the NBQA is to enhance the quality and safety of Canadian beef while increasing the profitability of the Canadian beef and cattle industry.
The NBQA results indicate Continue reading
This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the August 2018 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
Canada’s fourth Beef Quality Audit was completed in March 2018, following previous audits in 1995, 1998 and 2010/11. The carcass audit measured the incidence and economic costs of avoidable defects in Canadian slaughter cattle and beef and identified opportunities to avoid these losses.
What they did: Mark Klassen, Joyce van Donkersgoed and a team of technicians visited slaughter plants across Canada in the fall of 2016 and winter and spring of 2017. Thousands of cattle and carcasses were examined for a wide variety of possible defects. This column focuses on the most common and costly defects, specifically tag, carcass weight, excess fat and liver abscesses. Continue reading
Update: Missed the webinar? Find the recording and check for future webinars on our Webinars page: http://www.beefresearch.ca/resources/webinars.cfm
The latest beef quality audit not only gives insight into the meat products consumers choose at the grocery store, it also reveals the quality of beef carcasses being processed at Canadian packers. Join this webinar to learn the latest National Beef Quality Audit results, and what beef producers can do to prevent costly carcass defects.
Wednesday, February 14 at 7:00 pm MT
- 6:00pm in BC
- 7:00pm in AB
- 8:00pm in SK and MB
- 9:00pm in ON and QC
- 10:00pm in NS, NB and PEI
This year’s BCRC webinar topics include winter feeding, results of the latest National Beef Quality Audit, managing forages and other production practices.
View and register for our upcoming webinars below. To register for all of them at once, register for any one of them and select the option to be automatically registered for all remaining 2017-18 beef webinars.
We recommend registering for all webinars that you’re interested in regardless of whether you can attend during the date/time listed. By registering, you’ll receive reminders to attend the live event plus receive a link that allows you to watch the recording at any time. It’s no problem if you register and miss the live event, however joining live is recommended as it gives you the opportunity to interact and ask questions.
BCRC webinars are available and free of charge thanks to guest speakers who volunteer their time and expertise to support advancements in the Canadian beef industry, and through the Knowledge Dissemination and Technology Transfer project funded by the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off and Canada’s Beef Science Cluster.
Recordings of all of our past webinars can be found on our webinars page.
2017-18 BCRC Webinars:
Refining corn grazing recommendations – October 12, 2017, 7:00pm MT
Speaker: Bart Lardner, PhD, Senior Research Scientist at the Western Beef Development Centre
Thinking about turning your cattle out on corn? Want to be sure you are up to date with the latest corn grazing recommendations? Join us to Continue reading
Every time a beef producer in Canada markets an animal, he or she invests in research – through a portion of the Canadian Beef Cattle Check-off. Those producer dollars help fund scientific studies and innovative developments that are advancing Canadian beef production and impacting farms and ranches across the country.
What does that mean …for you, your herd and your industry?
The Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) is excited to invite you to an upcoming presentation to get a clearer picture of beef research in Canada.
Join us Thursday, August 17 at the BMO Centre in Calgary, Alberta. The BCRC presentation will be held in the Palomino Room A-C from 1:30 – 4:30pm.
You’ll hear recent examples of progress made, discuss the objectives to be tackled next, meet the individuals leading the way, and take home new ideas to help keep your operation ahead of the herd. Top researchers will be in attendance to discuss Continue reading
This article written by Dr. Reynold Bergen, BCRC Science Director, originally appeared in the February 2017 issue of Canadian Cattlemen magazine and is reprinted on the BCRC Blog with permission of the publisher.
This column usually features Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) projects supported by Canada’s national check-off, mainly through Canada’s Beef Science Cluster. The current Beef Cluster involves the BCRC, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Alberta Beef Producers, the Alberta Cattle Feeders Association, Manitoba Beef Producers, Beef Farmers of Ontario, the Quebec Beef Producers Federation, DuPont Pioneer, the Grey Wooded Forage Association, and provincial government funds from Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario. By pooling resources and coordinating funding decisions, funders can avoid duplication and increase the odds that more good projects will go ahead. The Beef Cluster allows Canada’s beef industry to support much more and better research than we could in the past with limited national check-off dollars alone. The BCRC is now deciding which new projects to fund through the next Beef Cluster (2018-2023), so this month I explain how the BCRC decides what research to fund.
The first step is Continue reading
December 1, 2016
Click to open an overview of the Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy 2018-2023
Canada has an opportunity to play a leading role in meeting rising global food production needs responsibly through investments in agriculture research across a variety of disciplines. Today the Beef Cattle Research Council (BCRC) and the national Beef Value Chain Roundtable (BVCRT) released a strategy to achieve high priority beef research objectives that support increasing productivity while remaining environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
The new Canadian Beef Research and Technology Transfer Strategy will support the industry’s ability to manage challenges and sustainably supply demand. This strategy builds upon the success of the 2012-2018 National Beef Research Strategy. The new strategy’s research objectives are to be captured by 2023.
“With a growing global population that desires beef, research and innovation is critical to Continue reading
How Your Input is Influencing Future Research
Earlier this year the BCRC developed an online Beef Research Priority Survey. The Survey asked participants to rate the importance of research issues listed in the 2012 National Beef Research Strategy.
We were very pleased to receive over 500 responses.
Over half of the respondents were producers. Most were cow-calf producers (49%), with smaller numbers of seedstock breeders (5%) and feedlot operators (4%). Other responses came from veterinarians, researchers, abattoir staff, government staff and industry staff.
Every province was represented. More producer responses came from western (85%) than central and eastern Canada (15%). Nearly half of the responses were from producers 40 years of age or younger. This indicates that the producers who responded to the survey are more likely those looking forward to a long future in the beef industry.
We sifted through all of the responses in detail with greater focus on the responses provided by producers, as well as veterinarians’ responses where appropriate (e.g. animal health, welfare and antimicrobial issues). We paid special attention to issues that were identified as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important by at least 75% of producers and vets, as well as issues that were rarely rated as ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ important. We also compared responses between eastern and western Canada for issues where geography may be expected to play an important role (e.g. forage and feed grain issues).
Here’s what you told us… Continue reading