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BEEFCONNECT® - PAYING A FAIR PRICE FOR DAIRY-BRED ANGUS CALVES
BeefConnect, a beef supply chain arrangement between Genus ABS and the ABP Food Group is consistently paying dairy farmers a fair price for their calves and delivering greater efficiencies from the beef supply chain.
12 months ago Genus ABS, the UK’s leading supplier of beef genetics and ABP Food Group (ABP), one of the largest beef processors in Europe, launched ‘BeefConnect’ – an initiative designed to deliver better efficiencies from the beef supply chain and higher quality beef.
BeefConnect involves dairy farmers using Genus ABS Aberdeen Angus beef sires on their lower-end dairy cows to produce beef-cross calves. The calves are reared on farm following best practice protocol and then collected by ABP at between 10 – 35 days old and moved to a dedicated ABP rearing unit.
Genus ABS and ABP Food Group have reviewed data from the sale of Angus calves between January 2015 and July 2015. As a result of which they are able to demonstrate historically that the BeefConnect initiative is providing a just price to farmers for their Angus calves and is subsequently contributing to the improved profitability of UK dairy farms.
Jocelyn Orr, Beef Brand Manager, Genus ABS explains the many benefits available to farmers of participating in BeefConnect: “Over 50% of UK beef production comes from the dairy herd. By placing a greater focus on the quality of dairy-bred beef animals, it is possible to drive farm efficiencies whilst also producing what the consumer requires. Our research clearly demonstrates that participating farmers will receive a competitive price for their Angus calves. In addition to this, a price for the calves is agreed on farm and the farmer is not subject to paying any market commissions. Calves can either be dropped off at an ABP collection centre or alternatively collected directly from farm for a small fee, again avoiding market charges. The benefits to the scheme are not only financial; BeefConnect also provides convenience and reliability.”
Ben Oakley milks 170 dairy cows at his farm in Wirswall, Shropshire. Ben has been supplying calves to BeefConnect for over six months and is already seeing the benefits of the arrangement to his business: “Our focus is to get calves off farm as soon as possible, and through BeefConnect we have been able to clear calves from as young as 10 days old for good prices. We have topped our local livestock market with blue calves making almost £400 on several occasions, however with the Angus calves we can get them off farm a lot quicker saving time, feed and bedding. This is a great advantage to us particularly in the winter. Rearing blues in the winter we would have to carry them until they are 3-4 weeks to get a good price and it is simply impractical and demands more cash to get them there.”
Ben continues: “During the winter space is normally pretty tight so we really appreciate the BeefConnect scheme. We have never had any issues meeting the specification and prices have been good – what has been great is the consistency of price. We find our local markets can vary from week to week but with BeefConnect, we know the guaranteed price at the start of the week and over the past 6 months the prices paid have hardly changed.”
Genus ABS will use the data to make better bull selection decisions, ultimately allowing beef farmers to select sires with better growth performance and carcass quality; factors which have the potential to improve the efficiency and profitability of beef finishing in Britain.
BeefConnect is currently available to most farmers in the North West, South West and Midlands. Genus ABS and ABP intend to expand the availability of BeefConnect further across the UK in the future.
If you would like to know more about BeefConnect please contact your local Genus ABS representative or visit the BeefConnect page on the Genus ABS website.
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