Linden Foods and Noble Herd Win Sustainable Agrifood Supply Chain Excellence Award

Keith Williamson, Supply Chain Manager, commented on the win: “We are proud to win the Sustainable Agrifood Supply Chain Excellence Award. By working with Noble Herd we have been able to continually develop better genetic selection through testing and data collection to provide better performing Wagyu cattle for Northern Irish conditions.

“Our approach to collecting data and printing the carbon footprint of the farm allows us to make huge strides in developing not only a better product for our customers, but also creating a sustainable platform for our Wagyu beef suppliers to grow their businesses with us in the future. ”

Luke Smith of Noble Herd, speaking on Wagyu and Buying Supply Chain, added: “The market data reflects to some extent that per capita consumption of beef in the UK and EU will decline with the weather. However, the data also shows that demand for a premium beef product that is locally produced and addresses consumer concerns about quality, welfare, nutritional value and the environment will increase. Using data collection, farm carbon footprint and specific gene selection for supply chain needs helps us develop a more robust supply chain for the customer.

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The Wagyu are a very special breed of cattle originating from Japan. The name Wagyu translates to “Japanese cow” and refers to all Japanese cattle breeds of which there are four different strains. ‘Wa’ translates to Japanese with ‘Gyu’ meaning cow. In Northeast Asia, around 35,000 years ago, Wagyu began to evolve very differently from any other cattle, resulting in the unique characteristics of the cattle breed.

Wagyu has twice the concentration of healthier fats compared to all other conventional breeds, containing extremely high levels of oleic acid, which helps the body metabolize fat in a healthier way. Wagyu fats increase good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol and it is actually these fats that produce the distinctive sweet flavors of beef.

However, the way Wagyu naturally evolved isn’t the only reason the breed is so unique. From 500 BC. In 1867, Japanese Buddhist leaders banned the consumption of meat. This led Japanese farmers to use their Wagyu cattle as work animals, plowing fields and transporting rice and materials from village to village. So when breeding their Wagyu, they selected animals that could work harder for longer. It was these selected animals that could store more energy in the form of fat in their muscles, known today as beef marbling. Unknown at the time, it was this breeding practice over hundreds of years that would produce the most marbled meat breed in the world.

In general, flavor is best imparted through the marbling of the beef, not the red muscle tissue. Thus, with the abundant marbling of Wagyu, the consumer experiences a richer and tastier dining experience.


Linden Foods, in conjunction with Noble Herd, is now offering beef producers to participate in their Wagyu Beef Scheme program. The program will provide beef producers with futures contracts that provide security and confidence in on-farm decision-making regarding their business.

All applications from Northern Ireland are welcome.

For more information, contact: Luke Smith – Noble Herd; Mobile: 07515 874 609. Email: [email protected]

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