THERE aren’t many people who can claim they eat steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner as a day job.

Whether this is your idea of heaven or hell, my role as a senior beef technologist for M&S shapes how we eat meat.

It’s not always about having expert taste buds for a prime cut of rib-eye, the job requires expert knowledge on how to care for the animal and an understanding of the importance of where our meat comes from.

Beef hasn’t always been on my agenda – but farming has always been in my blood.

I grew up on a small arable farm near Nuneham Courtenay and have fond memories of working alongside my parents on the farm from an early age.

This gave me a taste for agricultural life which I’ve never left behind, and has been crucial to my role now.

Unlike most teenagers who got an ordinary part-time Saturday job, when I was growing up I helped to rear calves and milk cows on a small farm in Cumnor, which sparked my passion for beef farming.

Not only did working on the farm help me to pay my way through agricultural studies at college in Oxford, it helped me to gain a thorough understanding of the animal.

Since then I’ve spent 25 years travelling the world analysing the best breeds, including Aberdeen Angus cows in Australia.

Over the last year I’ve been working as a beef technologist for M&S and no two days are the same – I could be walking around an abattoir at 8am and then speaking to our farmers at an agricultural show in the afternoon.

I look at developing new species of cow through cross breeding, trialling new products and rigorous taste testing.

Every week I take part in a beef panel that involves quality checking pieces of meat, making sure the standards are completely up to scratch, from M&S’s burgers to our British beef rump.

Customers are more aware now than ever before about where their food is coming from and that’s why my role is so important and why M&S is raising its stakes when it comes to beef traceability.

M&S is the only national retailer that can trace 100 per cent of its beef back to the cow – from corned beef to fillet steak.

Some of our farmers can trace the cattle back to the first cows they purchased and bred for M&S, in some cases over 50 years ago.

As a beef technologist I monitor the processes, welfare and environmental conditions of all the farms and abattoirs that form part of the M&S supply chain before they hit customer’s plates.

M&S commissioned a survey with YouGov to find that 89 per cent of people from the UK believe the most important thing about a home cooked burger is the quality of the meat. It’s probably not surprising then to hear that the better cared for the animal is, the better the quality and taste of the beef.

The hardest part of my job is probably keeping up with trends.

At the moment people are buying more white meat than red, or going flexitarian – which means people are buying less meat but, when they do, they are investing in better quality meat.

And, after all these years, my favourite cut?

It has to be a dry aged rib eye steak – rare of course!