There are two main competitive categories: Breed Improvement, which judges a cow on its size, proportions and other outwardly visible standards; and Meat Quality, where the carcasses are judged on fat quality and content. At the end of the competition, the best breeding cows and carcasses are sold at auction to the highest bidders in Japan. Beef sales from the auction can run upwards of ¥72,000 (about £442). And if you’ve seen Wagyu beef on a menu and were shocked by the price, this is why.Paul Feinstein (BBC)