By FWi staff
THE Best Beef Scheme, which places calves from Express Milk Partnership (EMP) dairy farms on to Southern Counties Fresh Foods (SCFF) beef units, is continuing to operate despite foot-and-mouth.
Calf marketing agent Quality Calves acts as a middleman between EMP and SCFF and matches demand and supply.
Peter Hambleton, managing director of Quality Calves, says: “foot-and-mouth has slowed marketing, but the calves are still on dairy farms and when movement restrictions allow will be moved to finishers who have orders placed on our books.”
Some calves have been moved straight from farm to farm on the welfare scheme, but when dairy farmers can rear calves without compromising their health, calves have remained on farm.
Matt Mason, Express Dairies farm liaison manager, says that through the Best Beef Scheme, he has been able to relieve some of EMP members concerns.
“They have been able to book in calves through Quality Calves ready for movement to SCFF producer club members.”
Dairy farmers keeping calves on farm shouldnt lose out as Quality Calves have kept prices at pre-foot-and-mouth levels and will pay a weight bonus up to 120kg to account for a bigger than usual weight range.
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