Wagyu Branded Beef Competition 2021

Australia’s leading luxury Wagyu beef brands on display

The announcement of the Australian Wagyu Association 2021 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition winners is an annual highlight for Australia’s leading luxury beef brands.  The medallists were recognised during a much anticipated Gala Dinner during the 2021 WagyuEdge annual conference on the Gold Coast.

With 36 entries from across the country, the competition represents the very best Australian Wagyu has to offer. Judged across three classes – Fullblood, Crossbred and Commercial – the competition is the only one of its type that is supported by an independent breed organisation. The aim of the competition is to promote the excellence achieved by Australian Wagyu brands and to recognise the continuous focus on optimising quality in Wagyu beef production.

Champion awards are presented to the highest scoring entry in each category. The highest scoring entry across all categories is presented the Grand Champion Award.

This year, marked the 10th Wagyu Branded Beef Competition since its inception in 2012. A hallmark of the WBBC has been the fierce competition and improvement at the leading edge of Wagyu brands, with no brand in past years ever achieving back to back category or Grand Champion titles.

The 2021 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition has provided a first for the industry, with Stone Axe Pastoral taking out the 2021 Grand Champion titles for its Class 1 Fullblood entry – repeating its performance of 2020.

The Stone Axe entry was also the Champion Class1 Fullblood entry again and achieved 54% marbling and an eye muscle area of 99cm2. The judges found it to have unbelievable richness, complex flavours that are sweet, dairy and cereal, with a melt in your mouth juiciness that was exquisite.


The level of quality and range of brands continues to increase year on year

2021 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition results

The AWA would like to congratulate Stone Axe by Stone Axe Pastoral Company who has been crowned the 2021 Grand Champion Winner. Judges commented that this entry had unbelievable richness, complex flavours of sweetness, dairy and cereal, melt in your mouth juiciness with an exquisite tender and silky finish.

Our 2021 class champions and gold medal winners are listed below.

Fullblood Wagyu

Class Champion
Stone Axe Pastoral
Stone Axe

Gold medal winners
Stone Axe Pastoral
Stone Axe

Mayura Station
Signature Series

Irongate Wagyu
Futari Wagyu

Rangers Valley

Direct Meat Company

Kilcoy Global Foods
Carrara 640

Crossbred Wagyu

Class Champion
Direct Meat Company

Gold medal winners
Direct Meat Company

Mort & Co
Master Selection

Pardoo Beef Corporation
Okan Wagyu

Poll Wagyu
Poll Wagyu

Commercial Wagyu (MS 5-7)

Class Champion
Pardoo Beef Corporation
Okan Wagyu

Gold medal winners
Pardoo Beef Corporation
Okan Wagyu

Kilcoy Global Foods
Carrara 640

Stockyard Beef
Stockyard Silver

“The level of quality and range of brands continues to increase year on year, highlighting the high level of competition and the continual focus on excellence in producing Wagyu, the world’s luxury beef,” said Australian Wagyu Association, CEO, Matt McDonagh.

“We congratulate Stone Axe Pastoral on being the 2021 Grand Champion and the only company to have attained Grand Champion Wagyu brand in successive years.

“With ever-increasing numbers of entries, I would like to Mr Ron Fitzgerald, the organising committee and Judges for their time to make this happen. I would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Prime Cut Meats and Comcater Brisbane for hosting the event for preparation and judging to give such a stellar outcome.”


The highly regarded Wagyu Branded Beef Competition seeks to promote excellence in Wagyu – the world’s luxury beef. Planning is underway for the 2022 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition. More details to come.

Wagyu Branded Beef Judging


Wagyu Branded Beef Judging Terminology

What does the Wagyu taste like? What flavours are present? And how does it feel when I eat it?

These are the questions our judges ask when comparing Wagyu beef.

Each aspect will be influenced by marbling, the firmness and texture of the beef, as well as the hints of how the Wagyu cattle were raised.

To describe how it feels to chew Wagyu beef we use: chewy, enjoyable-chewy, fibrous, granular, greasy, mushy, silky, tender, textureless, tough, very-tender, other.

The impression given from the release of the meat’s water-holding capacity on first eating defines the juiciness. The melted intramuscular fats in highly marbled beef will be a major contributor to this but will also include the consumer’s saliva. The salivation response will be tempered by aroma and hunger.

Very-dry, dry, slightly-dry, initial juiciness, very juicy, lasting juiciness.

There are five taste receptor groups; sweet, salt, bitter and sour plus the Japanese flavour ‘umami’ (which means beefy, savoury, brothy or delicious). There are up to 880 volatile compounds of different chemical classes reported in cooked Wagyu beef.

Descriptors: beany, bitter, buttery, caramel, cereal, chemical/medicinal, citrus, clean and fresh, creamy, dairy, earthy, fatty, fishy, herbal, kerosene, livery, low, putrid, metallic, nutty, popcorn, rancid, rich, rounded, salty, soapy, sour, stale, sweet, toasty, unami, other.

What does the Wagyu beef smell like? The perception of the volatile characteristics of food is perceived by receptors primarily in the nose.

Descriptors: Beefy, caramel, cardboard, cereal, citrus, sulphury, fishy, medicinal/chemical, herbaceous, putrid, stale, musty, livery, kerosene/solvent, low/faint, toasty, popcorn, fresh, floral, pungent, other.

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It is very important that you appreciate when viewing the AWA database that the information contained on the AWA database, including but not limited to pedigree, DNA information, Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and Index values, is based on data supplied by members and/or third parties.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information reported through AWA, AWA officers and employees assume no responsibility for its content, use or interpretation. AWA disclaims all liability (including without limitation, liability in negligence) for all expenses, losses, damages and costs you may incur as a result of the use by you of the data on this AWA database and the information supplied by ABRI and AGBU being inaccurate or incomplete in any way for any reason.

Regarding EBVs and Index values, it is very important to appreciate, and you need to be aware that:

  • EBVs are derived using Wagyu Single Step BREEDPLAN technology developed independently by the Animal Genetics and Breeding Unit (AGBU), using the information contained within the AWA database.
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  • Prefectural content is based on the estimation of prefectural origin from Japanese breeding records of 201 foundation sires and 168 foundation dams.  As genotype-based parent verification is not used in Japan, and full Japanese registration certificates are not available for all foundation animals, exact prefectural composition for these sires and dams cannot be validated.
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