The saying “Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty and persistence. This saying, by Colin Powell definitely applies to the Wagyu producer. Every cloud has a silver lining and a recent newsletter from Australia mentions that the last year (2020) was the most difficult in their history but that the market has recovered to such an extent that today there is an 80% premium on F1 weaner calves.
Whilst this is not yet the case in South Africa a small group of dedicated farmers literally broke the market open in extremely difficult circumstances to the Middle East and while Wagyu is appearing on the shelves at an increasing rate of trade, there will also be major announcements in the South African market within the next two months that will significantly increase the market for slaughter oxen.
The South African market has been a commodity market for the past 100 years, i.e. red meat is sold in high volumes at the cheapest price with a minimum carcass quality. Our Wagyu CEO and previous chairman has literally visited three of the four major retailers over the past six months. While the rollout of Wagyu is happening slower than expected, all the traders are looking at how they can focus on the high value meat market, where eating experience plays a big role. A major concern is the value chain’s ability to supply Wagyu slaughter oxen to the market on a constant basis. With some big announcements that will be happening soon, we strongly encourage you to put large numbers of bulls between the cows or to inseminate the cows. Our larger Wagyu farmers are already doing this.