Raising the most exclusive cow in Spain
A farmer from Burgos was the first to have Wagyu beef cattle in Spain. For 20 years, he has been breeding this high-class animal in a semi-extensive way, performing the slaughter according to the halal method.
Finca Santa Rosalía, located in Vízmalo (Burgos, Castilla y León) was the first farm in Spain to breed the Japanese Wagyu breed, whose meat is considered one of the most exclusive in the world. The life of its founder, Pachi Garmedía, has always been linked to the countryside. In the past, he was already the largest producer of red partridge in Europe.
Sometime later, he decided to produce the Japanese breed of meat that stands out for its juiciness and the sweet aromas it gives off. "I got some embryos and since then I have been breeding it", Garmendía says.
Commonly called Kobe beef -after the Japanese city where it originated- it is important to note that all meat from there comes from the Waygu breed, but not all Wagyu meat can be called Kobe. Wagyu is a Japanese word meaning beef and gives name to four breeds of cattle. From it, only the Tajima breed can get the Kobe meat stamp.
The cattle at Finca Santa Rosalía are reared semi-extensively, so that each animal has over 100 square metres of space, in facilities that have sheds, cribs and parks for grazing outdoors and spaces equipped with systems that prevent the Burgos cold from freezing the drinking water.
Feed is another of the peculiarities that gives this meat its characteristic properties and is prepared by a team of nutritionists. "It is based on a mixture of cereals, mainly corn and barley, and stands out for its digestibility", Garmendía explains. Each animal eats about 15 kilos of this feed a day.
In addition, in the last stages of growth, they also drink wine made only from organic grapes, which is rich in antioxidants. To protect themselves from the humidity of the soil, the animals sleep in straw pellets, which will later become an excellent fertilizer.
Unlike other species, the meat does not differ in taste between males (usually weighing between 1,300 and 1,500 kilos) and females (between 800 and 900), although this does depend on the age of the animal. "Calves are slaughtered at 12 or 14 months. However, the peak of this meat begins at 36 months”.
"We send 140 animals a month to the slaughterhouse, with an average life of 40 months," he adds. The transport to the slaughterhouse is done in individual trucks so that they do not join with cattle from other farms and avoid stress.
Slaughter is carried out according to the precepts of Islamic law which, in addition to "causing the animal less suffering", allows the meat to be exported to Arab countries. It is also sent to Europe and the United States. Cutting is done 15 days after slaughter, to enhance the full meat flavor.
The result is about 500 kilos of meat per animal, which is used to make all kinds of products. The ones that Spanish consumers like the most are the hamburgers, which can be found in supermarkets such as Makro, El Corte Inglés and Carrefour, of which they are official suppliers.
Source: Actualidad Económica