Project information

Project implementation period: 01.10.2009–30.06.2015

Project Description: The project intends to increase the level of innovation in the Polish beef sector by complex research and the development of new knowledge in the area of sciences related to beef quality. This is worked out within a holistic framework which in consequence will contribute to the development of state-of-the-art solutions for optimising the production and distribution process and an increased demand for beef. It will permit the sustainable growth of the Polish economy and the improvement of the competitive edge of Polish producers of beef cattle and beef.
It is believed that the project will produce deliverables in the form of study results developed into an interactive knowledge base furnished with elements of benchmarking and optimisation. The project assumes that access to research results will conform to the principles of technology transfer in the Innovative Economy Operational Programme.

Project Objective
The overarching project objective is to acquire and expand the use of new solutions necessary for the development of the economy, to improve the competitive position of businesses in the beef sector, and provide for the socio-economic development of Polish society. The project will result in increased innovation and competitive edge in the scientific partners of the consortium and businesses of the beef sector by introducing innovation based on new, effective, and market-oriented technologies of beef production and sales. There will be an increase in the use of information and communication technologies thanks to the launching of an interactive knowledge database made available online for entities in the beef sector. The project offers further possibilities of applied developments and is focused on practical use in the beef sector. It is of special social significance thanks to the impact its results will have on the improvement of the efficiency and profitability of the sector producing high-quality beef and on a change in nutrition habits as part of public health policy.

Detailed Goals of the Project
The goals at the level of:
• products: studies conducted by cooperating scientific units and enterprises with the participation of a significant number of scientists, including newly employed scientists, students, and doctoral students, and the purchase of the necessary research equipment
• results: development of new technology and practical applications, publication of the results, cooperation with the beef sector and technology transfer (implementations, patent applications, free transfer of results), the creation of new jobs (research jobs included), and the development of scientific staff
• quality: reinforcement of cooperation between the R&D sector and enterprises in the beef sector, and improved competitive edge and innovation capacity of these units, improvement of public health, improvement of qualifications and competencies of the scientific staff, increased share of innovative products from the beef sector in the international market

There are significant social and economic reasons justifying the project
Over the last 20 years, Polish consumers have gradually decreased beef consumption from 17.6 kg per person in 1989 to 4 kg per person in 2010.
Polish consumers were gradually turning away from beef. This brought about a significant drop in the total count of bovine animals before accession to the EU, and a decrease in the number of breeders due to the negative returns on the production of live cattle. The opening of the European beef market to Polish producers improved the situation, yet the prices that Polish beef can fetch are relatively low. The situation of consumers in the Polish beef market therefore deteriorated with a parallel increase in the price and deterioration in the quality of the beef sold in Poland, and a deterioration of the price-to-quality ratio. There are, however, significant reserves in pricing and demand to be exploited by improving the organisation of production and increasing the role of marketing in the beef supply chain.
Members of the Science & Industry Consortium have long been active in the fields covered by the scope of the study, and the Project is a consequence of their previous involvement. A significant value of the Project is the fact that the studies cover all the stages of the process – from proper genetic selection, via breeding and animal welfare, the environmental impact of animal production, slaughter, aging in appropriate thermal and temporal conditions, cutting, packaging, distribution, advising the consumer on appropriate thermal processing on the basis of consumer studies – all in a holistic manner thus making it possible to identify and estimate the degree of impact of an individual stage of the production process on the final quality of beef defined from the consumer’s point of view.
The project consists of the following, mutually complementary, research tasks:

Task 1 – Beef demand analysis in Poland
Task Manager:
Jerzy Wierzbicki
Mobile: +48 728328800

Studies of the demand for beef will enable target groups to be defined for information & education and promotional campaigns on the attributes of beef with special properties. It will also permit the diagnosis of the types of consumer behaviour found in the beef market taking account of the factors determining the selection of individual types of meat by consumers such as nutritive habits concerning the share of various types of meat in the diet, consumer typology from the point of view of beef preferences, and also definition of the preferences of selected representative consumer groups. The methodology for the design process in information & education campaigns for beef with special properties will be used by entrepreneurs to develop such information & education campaigns. Gathering information concerning the characteristic properties of beef which conforms to a large degree with consumer expectations will provide data for designing the process of cattle and beef production.
(To be implemented by: SGGW in Warsaw and PBA).

Task 2 – Assessment of the efficiency of cattle fattening and the slaughter value of carcasses
Task Manager
Professor Zenon Nogalski
Phone: +48 895233823

To develop tools for designing and optimising the process of producing meat of appropriate quality, research and observation of control fattening groups will be conducted to allow the impact of genetic and nutritive factors on fattening efficiency, slaughter value ratios, and also on nutritive and health benefits and the sensory qualities of the beef to be assessed.
(To be conducted by: UWM in Olsztyn)

Task 2a – Assessment of the efficiency of European beef cattle genetics in crossbreeding systems with the population of Polish milk cattle breeds – PCB, PCZB, POL-HF – in field conditions
Task Manager
Jacek Pisula
Mobile: +48 668052117

Field studies aimed at the assessment of the efficiency of European genetics in commercial crossbreeding programmes on the population of Polish PCB, PCzB and POL-HF cows will be conducted in parallel. The results of the task will also make it possible to develop models for producing quality beef with fattening based on the use of pasture feed to limit or eliminate GMO from the production of quality beef.
(To be conducted by: PBA and SGGW in Warsaw).

Task 3 – Biochemical changes and assessment of the technological qualities of meat
Task Manager
Professor Aleksandra Kwiatkowska
Phone: +48 895233207

The analysis of biochemical changes taking place in the early post-slaughter stage and during the ageing of meat, and the assessment of the technological qualities of beef will first allow the correct course of post-slaughter changes to be established, and the dependence of the values of the distinctive factors of these changes on the modifiable in vivo and post-slaughter factors to be measured. The second stage of the experiment will define the technological properties of beef acquired from various genetic, nutritive, environmental, and other variables in relation to assumed and study-obtained consumer preferences. Methods of processing beef to improve its table quality and nutritive value will be proposed.
(To be conducted by: UWM in Olsztyn).

Task 4 – Characteristics of nutritive value and the assessment of qualitative properties via sensory and instrumental methods
Task Manager
Andrzej Półtorak
Phone: +48 225937073

Sensory analysis and studies of physical properties and nutritive values based on the latest methods of expert testing and instrumental assessment to construct the framework for correlating the results acquired from the quality features acquired from sensory and instrumental methods. The study will make it possible to acquire synthetic indicators of beef quality, portraying the impact of selected variables on final quality and consumer satisfaction, thus defining consumer preferences. This work will be decisive in determining the demand for beef of various qualities.
(To be conducted by: SGGW in Warsaw).

Task 5 – Process Modelling
Task Manager
Alicja Woźniak
Mobile: +48 666337299

This stage closing the entire experimental procedure will involve the modelling of cattle fattening processes, assessment of slaughter value based on predicted consumer satisfaction, and launching of an interactive knowledge database. At this stage, to obtain high social and economic utility from the project results, a state-of-the-art application based on an ergonomic database will be designed and produced to allow agricultural producers, processors, consumers, scientists, traders, and experts to access the study results online. It will have embedded elements of benchmarking and optimisation.
(To be conducted by: SGGW in Warsaw, PBA).

Defining the final outcome of the project
Attainment of the goals assumed in the project will help to increase the competitive edge of the Polish beef sector, reinforce the position of Polish beef producers in the European market, allow effective and profitable production in a sector that today covers over 330,000 calves and young cattle exported for fattening, so providing Polish farmers with added value. Production of beef livestock from these calves in Poland and a relative increase in their price adds up to increasing their production value by over PLN1 billion, and to increasing the value added in the Polish beef sector by over PLN 750 million a year.
The project results – an interactive knowledge database with benchmarking and mechanisms for optimising production – will be the entrepreneurs’ tool for designing the process of beef production in a way that guarantees low cost and the attainment of repeatable parameters meeting consumer expectation in a manner that maximises added value. Such an interactive knowledge database is an innovative solution at both the scale of Poland and of the European Union, and reinforces the competitive position of Polish beef producers. The results of the Project will certainly and undisputedly have a significant positive impact on improving the competitive edge of beef producers and processors because the production decisions will now be based on the market preferences of those consumers who want to obtain maximum satisfaction from the beef they purchase. Thus production will be geared towards market needs with added value in the quality of animal welfare which is consistent with the trends currently prevailing in the European Union.


Project Partners

Projekt współfinansowany ze środków Europejskiego Funduszu Rozwoju Regionalnego
w ramach Programu Operacyjnego Innowacyjna Gospodarka