Red meat cooperative Alliance Group will be paying $5 million to some of its farmer shareholders.
Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef, which combines selection for exceptional quality and marbling with extensive wet ageing, took out a gold medal for ribeye and a bronze medal for fillet at the event in Dublin, Ireland, on July 10.
The latest honours repeat the premium product’s success at last year’s contest, which helps benchmark the quality of beef production against global competitors. There were more than 300 entries from 25 countries in the competition.
Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef was launched to the food service sector last year and is now in high demand among chefs in Asia and New Zealand.
Alliance general manager sales Shane Kingston says it is delighted to have Handpicked ranked among the very best steaks in the world for the second year running.
“This underlines both the consistency and exceptional quality of this product, which is also what our food service customers in New Zealand and internationally are telling us.
“It is also strong affirmation of our commitment to building a differentiated portfolio of such quality that consumers are willing to pay a premium for our product. This means that as New Zealand’s only 100% farmer-owned major red meat cooperative, we can pass these gains onto our farmer shareholders.
“The success is a tribute to our farmers’ exceptional farming practices, the skill of our accredited graders and processing team. The winning steaks were processed at our Mataura plant in Southland.”
Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef was launched last year following a three-year research and development programme. It offers unprecedented levels of tenderness and a milder beef profile, suitable for a variety of eating experiences.
Accredited graders carefully hand select the meat from prime cattle of any breed. Only a fraction of the very finest beef ever makes the grade.
The selection is based on quantifiable meat quality characteristics such as marbling, fat cover, fat colour and pH. Alliance selects from Prime animals only (Steer and Heifer), and the meat must have a marbling score of 4+, and pH of 5.7 or lower. Selected cuts are aged in a vacuum bag for 55 days.
Handpicked 55 Day Aged Beef is part of Alliance’s growing brand portfolio, which includes SILERE Alpine Origin Merino and Te Mana Lamb.