Nordic Native Meat

Cows standing in a enclosed pasture. Photo.

Nordic Native Meat

Project leader: Margrethe Therkildsen, Aarhus University

Period: 2018-2019

At this stage, there are no meetings or activities in the meat area in the Nordic region. The network partners aim to maximize the utilization of existing knowledge and skills by sharing knowledge, analytical instruments, and protocols for ana lyses of meat and carcass traits by strengthening scientific and personal ties between Nordic partners. This will be achieved by web-based meetings, the exchange of young researchers among the partners, and two physical meetings/workshops to which other stakeholders such as animal welfare inspectors, slaughterhouse representatives, farmers/breed organizations and retail/chefs will be invited.

Long term goal

  • Ensure that the Nordic rare native breeds of cattle, goat and sheep are characterized in relation to their meat and carcass characteristics.
  • Ensure that the data on meat and carcass characteristics collected are comparable across breeds, categories and countries in the Nordic countries and stored in a publicly accessible repository (database), for example hosted by the Nordic Genetic Resource Center.
  • Promote the use of the collected data for utilizing the full potential of rare native breeds in regard to meat production, e.g., by using crossbreds between the rare breeds and the commercial breeds to improve or change a given trait in the product.
  • Ensure that the collected data and animal characteristics are available to animal welfare inspectors such that breed-specific guidelines are used du ring inspections.
  • Arrange workshops and make digitized social media announce ments in order to increase the knowledge among slaughterhouses and the reta il/chefs about the meat of rare breeds – in order to increase the interest.
  • Establish networking activity within and across the Nordic countries among stakeholders involved in research, advisory service, primary production, product development etc. within meat production and quality to support an increased exploitation of the native rare breeds.

Goal for the period

  • Develop a database structure including well-defined descriptors for meat traits for cattle, sheep and goats in age/live weight/sex categories
  • Ascertain current slaughtering practices and challenges in slaughtering the rare native breeds from the perspective of the animal owner; in part by holding a physical meeting (Meat mapping meeting) to which relevant stakeholder such as farmers, breeding organisations and slaughterhouses are invited.
  • Exchange knowledge on methods for characterizing meat and carcass quality, including transfer of methods and knowledge from fish to meat.
  • ldentification of and discussion on challenges regarding the evaluation of carcasses at a physical meeting. An excursion to a slaughterhouse where animals of different species, breeds, age and sex have been slaughtered will give the participants ranging from researchers, animal welfare inspectors, butchers and chefs first-hand experience to base discussions on.
  • Strengthen ties and collaborations among Nordic scientists working on meat quality, through web-based meetings, exchange of young researchers facilitated through travel grants and physical meetings.
  • Submission of a proposal for research funding for example to a call under Horizon 2020 or lnterReg.