Glanbia and Kepak launch beef scheme

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Irish processors launch beef scheme

Related tags: Beef

Irish processors Glanbia Ireland and Kepak Group have announced a new calf-to-beef pilot programme.

The ‘Twenty20 Beef Club’ is designed to offer its members a guaranteed market for their heifers and steers. Benefits of participation include a predictable and transparent pricing formula at time of slaughter; a production blueprint, supported by safe and secure high-quality farm inputs; and leading-edge technical advice.

This year will be a pilot year for the programme, with a target of 6,000 calves from Glanbia Ireland supplier dairy farms in the Republic of Ireland. Over the coming years, Glanbia Ireland and Kepak have ambitious plans to rapidly expand numbers in the programme to 50,000 per annum.

The Twenty20 Beef Club is open to Glanbia Co-op Members and current Kepak suppliers. Members can be either dairy farmers or beef finishers, with a minimum of 25 calves required per farm. Suckler farmers that purchase dairy beef calves can also enrol qualifying animals bred and produced on their own farm that meet the Club criteria in the programme.

For Kepak customers and consumers, the Twenty20 Beef Club is expected to provide a secure and predictable supply of high-quality beef with unrivalled traceability and with the attributes of a ‘closed loop’ supply chain.

Animals enrolled in the first two years of the Club (2019 and 2020) will be paid the average market price, plus a Club Premium of 15 to 25 cents per kg, as well as a Club Protocol Bonus of 12 c/kg. Members will also benefit from additional price support in the event of a weak market price.

Members of the Club will be required to strictly adhere to a defined rearing programme, jointly developed by both businesses.

Targets for the programme include:

  • a reduction in the average age at slaughter of Club cattle – to 24 months on average;
  • a reduction in the average carbon footprint of Club farms – through the use of methane reducing feed additives, reduction in the average age of slaughter, improved feed conversion efficiency, reduced feed waste and improved fertility across the herd;
  • an improvement in the eating quality attributes of the Club meat through a combination of better genetics, nutrition management and optimum processing techniques;
  • an increase in the proportion of dairy bred cattle meeting market specified targets;
  • and an increase in beef output and sales value per hectare – through enhanced on-farm efficiencies, breeding, feeding, grassland management, animal health/welfare and slaughter preparation and selection.

John Horgan, chief executive of Kepak Group, said: “We are proud to announce this industry-unique partnership with Glanbia Ireland. This innovative Twenty20 Beef Club will provide leadership in establishing a truly integrated supply chain with unrivalled traceability and associated ‘closed loop’ beef attributes. Through our collaboration, we have developed a unique, if not revolutionary, solution to a longstanding quest of beef farmers for more predictability in future beef pricing and an animal-lifetime cash-flow option. We have developed an end-to-end science-based blueprint for a sustainable beef product to meet evolving customer and consumer meat-eating trends.”

Jim Bergin, chief executive of Glanbia Ireland, said: “We are delighted to partner with Kepak to establish the Twenty20 Beef Club. This initiative is about two of the leading players in farm inputs and beef production being proactive in combining their skills to produce a more sustainable beef production model. This programme provides our combined Club of farmer suppliers the opportunity to collectively produce beef in a model focused on ensuring both economic and environmental sustainability.”

Related topics: Livestock

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