TWO FARMER-OWNED livestock marketing co-ops have joined forces to cut costs and grow their businesses.

Meadow Quality, which buys and markets cattle, sheep and pigs across much of the country, has granted a franchise to Cornwall Quality Livestock Producers to source calves for its members.

The move enabled Meadow Quality to expand without incurring extra costs, said development and marketing manager Simon Phelps.

“It would be silly to try to compete against CQLP – it‘s better to work with them. It opens up another marketing area for members and reduces costs.”

Meadow Quality has over 2000 members and markets about 35,000 calves, 100,000 sheep, 40,000 cattle and almost 500,000 pigs each year.

CQLP has 420 members and until now only marketed lamb and beef direct to abattoirs.

Now, members can place orders for any number, age, breed and weight of calf, which will be sourced direct from dairy farmers, through Meadow Quality.

The calves are then delivered to the Melksham, Wilts, collection centre each week and sorted into batches of similar grades and weights.

Prices are agreed in advance and haulage costs are kept to a minimum by arranging back loads where possible.