Slow Food Ark of Taste

The Australian Ark of Taste Commission is pleased to announce that the Galloway cattle breed has been added by the Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity to its Ark of Taste catalogue.

The Slow Food Foundation for Biodiversity, established in July 2003, is located in the Italian city of Florence and is a key part of Slow Food, the international food awareness organisation that has branches in many countries, including Australia. The aims of the Foundation are to preserve agricultural and horticultural biodiversity, to promote quality, taste and small-scale artisanal products and to preserve critically endangered foods and breeds of animals.

Galloway cattle were first introduced to Australia from the UK in the 1940s. Galloways Australia is the breed organisation that is devoted to the promotion and the protection of the Galloway genetic package. This is achieved by maintaining a  closed herd book and ensuring that the Galloway is “100% pure blood” thus preserving its genetic diversity.

Galloway cattle efficiently convert grass on non-arable country into high quality, well-marbled, healthy meat. The meat is low in fat, high in beneficial fatty acids and has an excellent Omega 6:3 ratio. This ancient breed satisfies contemporary consumer needs.

For centuries, Galloway cattle have been known for their superb beef quality, derived from evolutionary genetic adaptation in a challenging environment without human intervention. They are a long lived, resilient, easy calving breed. However, despite numerous government and university studies confirming Galloway to have excellent beef and excellent economic and environmental credentials, their current low numbers place them firmly in the “under threat of extinction” category. Present estimates indicate that there are only 150 active breeding females of the “100% pure blood” animals in Australia.

The genetic purity of the Galloways in Australia is sought after by other countries with exports to Canada to reinforce the Galloway’s grass finishing ability, to Scotland to reinforce some depleted characteristics and also to New Zealand and Germany.

The Foundation for Biodiversity has previously listed 13 Australian products: the bullboar sausage from Victorian Goldfields, Kangaroo Island Ligurian bee honey, Tasmanian Leatherwood honey, Wessex Saddleback pig, Australian Dairy Shorthorn cattle, five varieties of Perry pear (Yellow Huffcap, Green Horse, Gin, Red Longdon and Moorcroft) and endemic Australian foods the Pindan Walnut, the Bunya Nut and the finger lime.