Morrisons is to increase the premium it pays to farmers of Beef Shorthorn cattle to encourage expansion of the national herd and secure supply for its Traditional British Beef range.

Farmers who supply Morrisons with Beef Shorthorns will be given a 10p per kg increase to the premium they receive on top of the base price, taking the premium element to 30p per kg, equating to an increase of up to £40 per animal.

Meat from Beef Shorthorn cattle makes up between 30% and 50% of Morrisons’ traditional breeds range with the remainder comprising other native breeds

“Offering a payment premium for the Beef Shorthorn has undoubtedly encouraged farmers to invest in this breed and reflects Morrisons’ longstanding commitment to the Beef Shorthorn breed,” said Morrisons agriculture manager Andrew Loftus.

Morrisons Traditional British Beef initiative had led to a 26% increase in Beef Shorthorn calf registrations year-on-year, according to the Beef Shorthorn Society.

“The initiative, which has helped to increase the value of Beef Shorthorn-bred steers, has brought a very welcome boost for the breed,” said Beef Shorthorn Society secretary Frank Milnes.

Morrisons launched its Traditional British Beef range in October 2011. Farmers of other traditional beef breeds that go into the range receive a premium of 10p per kg above the base price.