Take an integrated approach to help drive beef and lamb businesses thrive
Experts from industries including retail, banking and science said that against a backdrop of market volatility and poor prices, producers needed to look at all aspects of their businesses to see where they could make improvements - and where possible work more closely with retailers and processors to drive efficiencies.
During their presentations at the Wynnstay Sheep and Beef Event in Welshpool on Friday (14 August), speakers including Waitrose head of agriculture Duncan Sinclair said a more joined-up approach would help the sector share ideas and improve the way it produced food.
Addressing some of the 800 visitors who attended the event, Mr Sinclair said the retailer aimed to grow its business by focusing on securing supplies, optimising efficiency, being environmental sustainability and engaging with people across the chain.
To help it achieve that, it was working with a range of players, from researchers and educators, to training providers, producers, customers and the government to innovate and drive efficiencies - an approach farmers needed to embrace too.
Nuffield Scholar and vet Rob Drysdale also stressed the importance of integration across the production system to help improve business efficiency, output and margins.
During his presentation on the future of beef production from the dairy herd, Mr Drysdale described a number of cattle businesses he had visited in the United States where farmers had decided to look at all aspects of their system as a whole, rather than separate elements.
By integrating elements such as housing, nutrition, and animal health as a whole system, farmers could concentrate on running efficient systems which produced exactly what customers were looking for.
Working backwards from a target product would help producers how they should be operating and what systems they should have in place, he added.
The talks were just two of a number of presentations from an impressive line-up of speakers who gave farmers an insight to the latest developments and issues affecting the beef and lamb sectors.
Other speakers included Ryan Law of Dunbia, HSBC regional agricultural director Euryn Jones and sheep and beef farmer Tom Jones of Pentre Farm, Dolanog, who talked about the findings of his HCC Scholarship to New Zealand where he had seen first-hand examples of farm efficiencies.
In addition to the extensive line-up of speakers, visitors were also able to see a range of trade stands covering various production aspects, including feed and supplements, equipment and machinery, and animal health, as well as demonstrations on animal handling, electronic weighing systems, and EID software.
Ken Greetham, Wynnstay chief executive, said the event offered farmers the chance to hear some fresh ideas about how they could approach beef and sheep production and improve information flow within the supply chain.
“There isn’t a great amount of positivity in the livestock sector at the moment as the result of unsustainable milk and lamb prices, but that’s what made this event so important,” he said.
“We wanted to emphasise to producers that there is a future in the livestock sectors, that there are reasons to be positive and that there are steps they can take to make their businesses more profitable by looking at efficiencies at every stage of the production process.”
Notes to editors:
Picture caption: Wynnstay chief executive Ken Greetham
The Beef and Sheep Event is an annual event organised by Wynnstay.
For more information about this year’s event, please contact email@example.com
To keep informed about next year’s event, including hosting a stand and sponsorship/advertising opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Wynnstay Group was founded in 1917 by a group of tenant farmers, formally becoming a farming co-operative shortly afterwards. Now publicly listed company on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) the group has two main divisions, focusing on specialist retail and agricultural supply, and employs a host of experts across many farming specialisms to support its customers and keep the business at the leading edge of development in the sector.
Published by Be Bold Public Relations, 01952 898121, email Wynnstay@beboldpr.com.