26 June 1998

Dalgety open on feed label

DALGETYs announcement this week that it will label by percentage the ingredients in its ruminant feeds has been welcomed by the NFU.

The union, which has campaigned for such declarations for more than 15 years, is now urging other feed firms to follow suit.

Dalgetys move, designed to demonstrate greater openness to its customers, follows an independent survey of 1000 farmers earlier this year which showed that producers wanted ingredients expressed as a percentage and not just listed in descending order as is currently the case.

Andy Blake, Dalgetys ruminant sales and marking director, admitted that the firm had been defensive in the past at declaring exactly what went into its feed, claiming that research into different feeds was wasted if the company had to give its recipe away.

"We now feel that we have more to gain by being completely transparent," he said.

NFU president Ben Gill described Dalgetys move as a major step forward claiming it would help farmers concerns on traceability.

Feed firm BOCM Pauls said a full ingredient listing of all its ruminant products was freely available. But listing feeds by percentage meant very little unless the weights, energy and protein content were also known.