In my view it’s to ensure that the consumer is assured that the product being consumed is authentic, has a quality standard and the integrity of product is unquestionable. To be successful as producers we need to ensure that this high value product meets certain standards. Through CWB, we can make the following claims: The product is Wagyu (as per the breed definition), the animals are ethically and humanely treated as per ISO 22 000, and that the consumers are assured that every sector of the value chain is certified to produce a product that meets the highest of eating quality expectations. We acknowledge that the Certification process is onerous to the value chain but it is only through this effort that CWB is allowed to officially make the claim: “Experience Authentic, Juicy and Tender South African Certified Wagyu Beef”. We are only allowed to make this claim because we could produce evidence, in conjunction with the Meat Science department of the University of the Free State, that produced the scientific evidence.
According to our certification rules, the requirements for CWB are that the carcass has a minimum marble Score of 4 for export, a marbling score of 3 for primal in South Africa and a marble score of 1 and-2 to be graded as ground (for example hamburger) beef. All Wagyu beef is hormone free and males are castrated prior to 5 months of age. The authenticity of the program is further reinforced in that all product in South Africa is objectively graded using carcass cameras at all points of slaughter.
We have also contracted CPG (Thea Laufs) to conduct our audits. We have taken the lead to implement a program that is cost effective but will ensure integrity in the supply chain. The audit for example requires that the value chain is audited at pre-defined frequencies. The producer audit ensures that amongst others animals are tagged, a DNA sample is collected and that parentage, to Sire is verified. Animal movements are tracked throughout the value chain to ensure traceability.
If you suspect somebody is selling Wagyu, without a protocol such as CWB, you are welcome to phone the hotline number 064 787 6264.
Francois Loods (CWB Chairman)