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HomeBeef24-month minimum beef price contract launched in UK
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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24-month minimum beef price contract launched in UK

Farmers in the UK can now avail of a 24-month minimum price contract for beef cattle as part of Breedr’s latest initiative.

The company has launched the contract to guarantee farmers a minimum price for their cattle with lifetime data in the future.

Founder of the app, Ian Wheal believes the data-driven contract has the potential to transform the British beef industry.

He estimates that it could be worth more than £130 million to British beef farmers over the next seven years.

Minimum price contract for beef cattle

As part of the contract, farmers can also opt to be paid on a per kg growth basis with advanced payments possible to “smooth cashflow”.

“As beef producers ourselves, we know how tricky it is to plan ahead with confidence – one batch of bad calves can ruin a farm, as can a downturn in the beef market.”

“But by making better use of data we can buy and sell with transparency, predict growth rates, and know that we’re supplying the processor with what they want – ensuring a secure end market and price.”

“With Brexit, the whole food industry is facing an uncertain time – but British agriculture is innovating to meet UK and global needs.”

Wheal confirmed that the new contract has been trialled with Dunbia, but work is underway to seek the involvement of other beef processors.

He said that “being able to plan ahead with certainty finally gives farmers the peace of mind they need to invest and built profitable businesses”.

Harvesting data

Since its launch, some 2,000 farmers have signed up for the application, and the company itself has raised over £2.2 million in funding.

Ian Wheal, co-founder and CEO of Breedr, says that funding will also be invested in the development of the Breedr platform, which enables farmers to get more back from their data, analyse performance and produce actionable insights to drive on-farm profit.

“The beef, sheep and pig producers we are working with have a wealth of data about their animals and see our app as a way to directly add value.”

“Today, they might choose to see which animals are closest to the specification requested by their customers, but as more information is included, they will be able to benchmark against other farmers in their group.”

“We are bridging the gap between farmers, processors, retailers and consumers, using big data, machine learning and machine vision. The aim is to reduce uncertainty and improve productivity of the whole livestock market.”

By digitising the entire livestock production process, from sire to carcass performance, Breedr gives farmers the insights they need to deliver the right product for their customers.

Farmer improving margin by up to £120/cow.

Gary Spence, a beef farmer from Northern Ireland who has been trialling Breedr, estimates the subscription platform is already improving his profit margins by up to £120 per cow.

“By using Breedr on our farm we’ve been able to identify the best and the worst performers; we’ve been able to use the data generated to see very easily the best farms to buy animals from, the best sires to use, (letting us) then eliminate from the herd animals that are losing our farm money.”

“The app has also saved us a considerable amount of time, reducing paperwork by integrating with our regulatory systems.”

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