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Meat Buyers Guide



The Countries that currently supply Beef

New Zealand
New Zealand beef is naturally raised and grass-fed, resulting in a lean and finely textured product that is tender and distinctive in taste. Unlike the beef in North America, which is usually finished on feed and graded by marbling and quality, beef from New Zealand is allowed to graze naturally, is graded by the age and sex of animals, and is very consistent within each grade.

New Zealand has a temperate climate, ample rainfall in most areas and an abundance of land suitable for pastoral farming. Food supplements common elsewhere in the world are unnecessary in New Zealand, as grass is available all year round. The total cattle herd is about 9 million animals consisting primarily of Angus and Hereford breeds. As a result of their geographic isolation and strict quarantine laws, New Zealand has never had a case of foot and mouth disease or BSE.

The New Zealand economy relies heavily on pastoral farming and on meat exports, and packers there have worked to develop a worldwide reputation for the highest standards of hygiene and product consistency.

Australia
Australia has developed production methods that vary from region to region because of its large size and the vastly different climate in different regions. The cattle breeds are primarily Brahman cattle in the tropical northern regions and Poll Hereford in the cooler south. The beef industry is one of the largest industries in Australia, with a total herd of around 28 million. Australia is also the largest beef exporting country in the world.

Beef in Australia is mostly grass fed and allowed to graze naturally, although there are a large number of feedlots in the southern region producing beef primarily for export markets. Unlike the North American industry, where beef is graded by quality and marbling, beef from Australia is graded by age and sex of the animals, with several different grades guaranteeing increasingly tender beef. As a result of their geographic isolation and strict quarantine laws, Australia has never had a case of foot and mouth disease or BSE.

Uruguay
The raising of cattle is the most important activity in the primary sector in Uruguay, and most of the beef is grass fed and allowed to graze naturally. Because of the abundance of agricultural land and temperate climate cattle can graze year round. Most of the cattle in Uruguay's herd of approximately 11 million cattle are Hereford.

Although beef from Uruguay is only graded as steer or cow for most markets, the Canadian government has approved the use of some additional grades based on the age and sex of animals, to guarantee increasing tenderness and quality.

Canada
Beef from Canada is graded primarily by quality, and the higher grades are from steers that are fed corn or grain to improve their taste and marbling. Beef from cattle finished on feed have a much higher degree of marbling and a taste that is preferred and sought out both domestically and in other markets.

The Canadian beef market has been traditionally very dependent on exports and the total Canadian herd is approximately 17 million.

The North American beef industry has faced many challenges over the last few years, and is in a state of change as a result. Canada is still dealing with borders that have been closed due to BSE concerns, and as these markets open up the North American industry will continue to evolve.

United States
Beef from the United States is graded primarily by quality, and the higher grades are from steers that are fed corn or grain to improve their taste and marbling. Beef from cattle finished on feed have a much higher degree of marbling and a taste that is preferred and sought out both domestically and in other markets.

The United States beef market has been traditionally very dependent on exports and the total United States herd is approximately 95 million.

The North American beef industry has faced many challenges over the last few years, and is in a state of change as a result. The United States is still dealing with borders that have been closed due to BSE concerns, and as these markets open up the North American industry will continue to evolve.

Wilkinson's Foods International offers a variety of Beef from several different regions. Contact Us to find the cuts you are looking for, or if you are having trouble finding what you are looking for.

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