Scotland is set to be the home of the largest Japanese Wagyu beef production in Europe as a Perthshire farm announces a major expansion to its operation today (Sunday, July 28th 2013).
Highland Wagyu, owned and run by husband and wife team Mohsin and Martine Altajir from Blackford Farms a 25,000 acre estate situated in Perthshire, has acquired the entire herd of 300 Wagyu cattle from David Ismail of Fordel, Glenfarg in Perthshire for an undisclosed sum.
The acquisition makes it the UK’s largest producer of Japanese Fullblood Wagyu beef, the world’s most expensive beef, which is famous for its highly marbled, tender meat that fetches up to £250 pounds a kilo.
The Highland Wagyu herd of 100 Wagyus with 150 in calf – fondly referred to as McWagyu – will be joined by the Fordel herd from next week.
The expanded operation is on course to reach 700 head of cattle by September, 1000 in the new year and around 1500 at the end of 2014.
Mohsin Altajir said: “I believe that Wagyu is the best beef in the world and the future of the beef industry in this country. We will make Scotland the Wagyu centre of Europe.
“The Fordel herd has the ultimate high grade Blackmore genetics from Australia, renowned to be the best outside Japan. David sold us our first 100% Fullblood Wagyu bulls and females to get us started two years ago and it snowballed from there, so we couldn’t let his herd go to anyone else.”
Martine Altajir said: “Wagyus are seen as delicate cattle but they’re flourishing on the Perthshire grassland. We feel it’s the best place to breed the animals and we’ve invested in creating the right buildings to house them. We’re focusing heavily on breeding fullblood Wagyu using native animals, who make excellent surrogate mothers, but we’ve also started to cross our Wagyu with other breeds on the farm with much success.”
David Ismail of Fordel said: “I am happy to see after a lot of dedication that my herd has gone to a family that are truly passionate about the Wagyu breed, and I’m sure Mohsin and Martine will be very successful in their quest to centralise Wagyu breeding in Scotland. I wish them the best of luck.”