With Somerfield’s Cost Plus scheme going from strength to strength, Blade Farming South West aims to get 2500 cows inseminated with South Devon genetics.

The calves will be marketed under the supermarket’s So Good South West brand.

“The aim is to supply the So Good range completely with South Devon cross calves from the dairy herd by 2008,” said Blade business manager Gavin Iles.

These calves will be reared through the company’s rearing system and slaughtered by Southern Counties Fresh Foods.

Speaking at the Dairy Event, Mr Iles said the company offers a premium price of 140 for South Devon bull calves and 40 for heifer calves.

The company is working with partners Genus to get cows inseminated to South Devon bull Foxhole Menzies to ensure a quality calf is offered.

“We have chosen Menzies for his excellent conformation and natural calving ability.

He has exceptional length and strength of loin with a growth rate that ranks him in the top 10% of his breed for muscle score,” adds Mr Iles.

Other sires can, however, be used with advice on suitability available from Blade.

The one stipulation is that calves are reared to the Blade protocol, which includes feeding colostrum for the first two days of their life.

“Calves will be monitored through the rearing units and when they perform at 0.8kg a day a bonus of 5 a calf will be paid to the farmer who supplied the calf.”

chrissie.lawrence@rbi.co.uk