As Stabilisers continue to be the fastest growing breed of cattle in the UK, their moderate, easy calving frame with high fertility and efficient feed conversion traits have opened the gates to international export markets.
Recently, Stabiliser Cattle Company (SCC) and French beef genetic co-operative Bovinext reached an agreement for Bovinext to be the exclusive provider of Stabiliser genetics to French breeders.
Laurent Rouyer, president of Bovinext, says French farmers are increasingly more aware of their native breeds becoming too big for the market and not delivering consistent, high marbled meat quality for which there is growing consumer demand. These factors, and the desire to increase farm margins has already generated a lot of excitement on the French market, says Rouyer, with 50 breeders already making plans to use Stabiliser semen and embryos.
The initial five year contract is set to deliver genetics through extensive semen sales and embryo transfers, with an initial target of 1000 Stabiliser breeding females in France. Live cattle exports will also be a crucial component of meeting the target and the first set of breeding heifers will depart UK shores and hit French soil in November according to SCC technical manager Dr Duncan Pullar, French born Stabiliser calves will be included in the UK EBV evaluation programme to ensure continued genetic progress and on-going links with Stabilisers in the UK.
“Including the performance data generated in France our UK evaluation is going to make a good project even stronger because French breeders will be able to compare their cattle with those in the UK and make good breeding decisions based on the same EBVs,” he says.
AHDB’s French export manager Rémi Fourrier, who works to position UK beef and lamb in France and facilitated the agreement, calls the initiative a “win-win” in its support of UK farmers while showcasing quality beef and genetics the UK has to offer.
Pictured: (l-r): Richard Fuller and Duncan Pullar, Stabiliser Cattle Company; Aline Barrois, Stéphane Peultier, Laurent Rouyer and Philippe Sibille, representatives of Bovinext.