Wagyu cattle originated in the Kobe region of Japan hundreds of years ago.
As there were no other cattle on the island, the Wagyu breed became extremely pure because it was bred in isolation. Originally, only the emperor and his family could eat Wagyu beef and it became a national treasure. In 1978, 250 Wagyu’s were shipped to America and since then, No Wagyu have been allowed to leave Japan.
The characteristics of the Wagyu is the marbling which gives the meat its flavour. It is high in Omega 3 + 6 (even higher than Salmon). The marbled fat in the meat is unsaturated fat- good fat much like avocados and nuts.
The first Wagyu embryo’s arrived from America in 1998 and the breed has since made its presence felt in South Africa. When entering Wagyu beef in competitions, they win every award- to the point where organizers have indicated that it is unfair to other competitors and they need to create a separate Wagyu competition.
Ivan Voigts has always had a keen interest in all cattle and after much research and dedication, is now breeding the world class Wagyu, just outside of Pietermaritzburg. Embryos are imported from Australia and America. The Voigts group Wagyu herd is in a building up phase with two distinct lines, the black Wagyu known for very good marbling and the red Wagyu for its marbling and bigger carcass size and Ivan is proud to have some famous bull genetics amongst his cattle, which come all the way from the USA. The Voigts group Red cattle genetics include Rueshaw, Big Al, Kalinga Red Star and Judo just to name a few. The black cattle genetics include the likes of Takamichi Doi, Bay Mak Mana and TF Itomich 1 ½.
There are only a handful of breeders in South Africa and for the first time ever, the Voigts Group Wagyu Stud Marble Beef will be on Show at the Royal Show this year.
We are now breeding the world famous Wagyu Breed. Originating from Japan these cattle are no longer exported out of Japan as they are now considered to be a National treasure. In 1978, 250 Wagyus were shipped to America and since then no animals have been allowed to leave the shores of Japan.
The tender meat has much more marbling which gives the meat its flavour. It’s high in omega 3 and 6 (even higher than Salmon). The marbled fat in the meat is unsaturated fat (good fat like nuts and avocados). It is undoubtedly some of the best beef in the world.
The Wagyu Revolution
Exciting developments as the breed continues to grow and consolidate it’s place in the South African Beef Cattle Industry.
Craig Ollermann and Ivan Voigts