Major beef processor opens for sustainability trials
Pickstock Telford opened the gates to their own Brongain Farm for the first time on 17th October for the business’ inaugural integrated supply chain forum event, with over 85 stakeholders from farmers through to customers in attendance.
The specialist beef unit in Llanfechain, Powys, has been newly established as a hub to facilitate R&D and knowledge transfer that will support sustainability within the beef supply chain. Alongside a tour of the new facilities, delegates heard from industry specialists and some of the key partners supporting developments at the 1,000-head semi extensive unit.
Speakers included Professor Karl Behrendt from Harper Adams University, Will Jackson from AHDB, Boomer Birch and Jess Simms from Cogent Breeding, Rob Edwards from Cain Farm Vets, Jess Yeomans and Iwan Vaughan from Wynnstay, and previous Beef Farmer of the Year Richard Tudor.
Carbon emissions and Brexit were among the hot topics discussed, as well as genetics, health and nutrition. Pickstock Telford’s managing director Greg Pickstock said the official opening of Brongain Farm was an exciting step for the business and forms a core component of their long-term sustainability programme.
“We’re committed to developing a sustainable system of beef production that is profitable for the farmer while meeting customer needs and wants,” said Mr Pickstock. “To achieve this, a more integrated approach is a must, and this begins at farm level. “The aim of Brongain Farm is to determine a model of production that is achievable, profitable and delivers a consistent end product, while addressing some of the big challenges the industry faces, including carbon emissions,” he said.
“We’re committed to developing a sustainable system of beef production that is profitable for the farmer while meeting customer needs and wants,” said Mr Pickstock.
Rowan Pickstock, Greg’s son, heads up Brongain Farm, where Aberdeen Angus and Hereford selected sired cattle are finished at around 21 months of age and processed at Pickstock’s plant in Telford, Shropshire. “We’re focusing on four key areas at the farm including: financial viability, the environment, animal welfare and genetics” said Mr Pickstock.
“Recent developments at the unit allow us to closely monitor animal performance and the cost of production, which is helping us trial, test and adapt new ideas that could potentially be rolled out to other beef producers looking to improve business efficiency and sustainability.”
As a major beef processor that also maintains an active farming business, Mr Pickstock said they are well placed to build working relationships between all parties within the supply chain and achieve improvements that support sustainable production. “We’re delighted to hold our first integrated supply chain forum event, and look forward to welcoming more farmers, customers and key industry partners, to Brongain Farm in the future,” he concluded.