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Beef Breeding and Charolais in Estonia


The area of Estonia is about 45 000 km2 and the population slightly more than 1.3 million.

Traditionally, dairy cattle and pigs have been reared in Estonian rural areas. Beef breeding is a comparatively young area of agricultural activity. There are many fields in Estonia that are not suitable for cereal growing but that could be managed well as grasslands suitable for beef cattle.

As there is no native beef breed in Estonia. The beef animals are imported to Estonia mostly from other European countries like France, Great Britain, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc. Semen and embryos are also imported from the United States and Canada.

There are 16 beef breeds registered in Estonia. At the present the most popular breeds of beef cattle in Estonia are Aberdeen Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Simmental, Charolais and Highland Cattle.

As of 31 December 2021, the total number of beef animals in Estonia was 77 537, incl. 31 363 suckler cows. The number of Charolais cows at that time was 3633. Charolais makes 11.6% of suckler cows of all breeds.


Charolais is a suitable breed for environmental and climate conditions of Estonia. The first purebred Charolais were brought to Estonia in late 1990’s.


Intensive fattening of beef cattle is not a general practice in Estonia. There are many beef cattle that grow only on grasslands and there are many organic farms. At the same time, more than half of Charolais cattle are under performance testing.


In Estonia there are Charolais breeders of both - as of horned as polled animals. There are animals with Canadian and Swedish as well as French and Swiss bloodlines. There are businesses with more than 250 suckler cows and small farms with 10 Charolais.

Charolais bulls are increasingly used in commercial cattle for obtaining offspring with a higher growth rate.

You are welcome to visit the Charolais farms in Estonia! 



Animal Breeders Association of Estonia



Estonian Beef Breeders Association



Estonian Charolais Club

E-mail: – Charolais Estonia

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