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Welsh producers claim top honours on home soil

           

Beef and lamb producers from England and Wales fought it out for the prestigious award of best steak and rack at this year’s Royal Welsh. The annual competition, which is organised by 2 Sisters Food Group, is run in conjunction with Tesco and Welsh red meat promotional body Hybu Cig Cymru (HCC).

Eight striploins and eight lamb racks were selected from the many producers that supply the 2 Sisters processing plant in Merthyr Tydfil. The finalists were chosen on appearance and confirmation to reflect the needs of the consumer.

The top steak prize went to Mr. Jones from Builth Wells for his Aberdeen Angus cross steer that weighed in just under 330kg. The judges all placed this steak as their first choice across all criteria, with one judge commenting that they would be, “delighted to eat that steak in a top class Welsh restaurant, let alone buy it from Tesco.”

The judges commented on the superb flavour and texture of the lamb rack finalists, with first place awarded to the Lewis brothers from Abergavenny for the second year running.

The winners each received a 2017 HCC competition bowl, a bottle of Tesco’s Finest champagne and a cash prize.

John Dracup, procurement director at 2 Sisters Red Meat, who presented the awards said: “It’s been another great year of top quality beef and lamb. I’d like to thank all our loyal producers for their commitment, praise our finalist and congratulate Mr. Jones and the Lewis brothers for winning their respective classes.”

“All the prize money has been generously donated by Tesco, further demonstrating their commitment to quality beef and lamb. I’d also like to thank HCC for their continued support and for hosting this exciting event.”

RACK TO BACK LAMB WINNERS: the Lewis brothers pictured with Phil Spenceley (Tesco, left), Kevin Roberts (centre) and John Dracup (right).

Hannah Donegan, Tesco agriculture manager, said: “This is a great event that showcases the high quality of beef and lamb that we supply our valued customers’ week in, week out.”

“It is also a fantastic opportunity to recognise those farmers that produce what the market wants – a high quality, great tasting product.”

Kevin Roberts, HCC chairman, added: “Eating quality is increasingly important to today’s consumers. HCC is proud to support these steak and rack competitions which show the outstanding flavour and succulence of Welsh Beef and Welsh Lamb.”

LOCAL FARMER STEAKS TOP PRIZE: celebrating success, from left, Phil Spenceley (Tesco), Kevin Roberts, Mr. Jones (winner of the steak competition) and John Dracup.

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The judging panel was comprised of representatives from Tesco, Hybu Cig Cymru, NFU Cymru, Farmers’ Union of Wales and MasterChef 2017 contestant Imran Nathoo.

The top four places for the steak and rack competitions were given a cash prize sponsored by Tesco:

Sirloin Steak

1st prize – AL Jones, Builth Wells (£1,000)

2nd prize – WE & CE Jones, Chepstow (£500)

3rd prize – N & K Cooke, Lydney (£200)

4th prize – EL Francis, Garway (£100)

Lamb Rack

1st prize – Lewis Bros, Abergavenny (£400)

2nd prize – WG Davies & Son, Aberdare (£200)

3rd prize – SDR & LJ Price, Brecon (£125)

4th prize – MH & JDM Raymond (£75)