RPA flag up new changes

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) has issued a warning for processors visiting the Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair to take heed of new EU beef carcase dressing regulations.

Following consultation with the beef industry, the European Commission has approved the use of two additional co-efficients within the UK Specification for the removal of brisket fat and bed/flank fat adjacent to the cod fat. For all specifications the removal of the pizzle sheath and trimming of any of the flank edge area will no longer be permitted.

The changes have been in place since 29 July 2008 but the RPA has given the industry a grace period until 31 December to allow abattoirs to update their IT systems to reflect the renaming of the specifications.

A RPA spokesperson said: "Introducing an EU approved dressing specification allows our industry more confidence to trade with other processors, as well as allowing comparisons to be made on prices between areas and regions and gives both suppliers of cattle and processors much greater transparency when trading cattle."

To fall in line with the approval of the new coefficients and reorganisation of AHDB, the dressing specifications mainly used in the UK have been renamed as follows:

From this year MLC Standard Conditions has been renamed 'Standard Specifications,' old EC specifications has been renamed 'EC Reference Specification,' and new EC specification has been renamed 'UK Specification.'

The Royal Smithfield Christmas Fair will be held at The Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, on 5-6 December where the RPA will be handing out copies of the guidance from its stand.

Further information on details of the new dressing specification changes can be found at www.rpa.gov.uk/rpa/index.nsf/vContentByTaxonomy/133F1831BBB69868802574CF00313E12?OpenDocument