Dairy Event to include major beef feature

The 2011 Dairy Event and Livestock Show, to be held at the NEC Birmingham on Tuesday 6 and Wednesday 7 September 2011, will include a major new beef feature offering advice on how producers can boost profit margins.

The initiative, named “New Smithfied”, is being developed in conjunction with the Royal Smithfield Club and is part of the plan to make the show the premier UK event for the livestock sector.

Speaking at a press briefing at the Farmer Club, London, Royal Association of British Dairy Farmers (RABDF) chief executive, Nick Everington, explained how “New Smithfield” would target all farmers with beef enterprises.

“The feature will include technical displays designed to improve breeding performance and displays and demonstrations on increasing the market value of finished cattle.

“Most beef enterprises are losing money, and the gap between the top third of producers and the average farmer is also widening. We need a marked improvement in margin to support the sustainability of the sector.”

The move reflects the fact 37% of the past year’s visitors surveyed had a beef enterprise, with 283 out of 400 companies at the event selling beef products, offering a wealth of information to the beef sector.

Royal Smithfield Club chief executive, Geoff Burgess, emphasised that the new area would look at the technical side of beef production, something completely separate from the winter primestock shows.

“Our role is to highlight the latest management thinking and technology available to the British livestock producer, which will subsequently help their business’s profitability.”

“New Smithfield” will be positioned in the livestock hall along with the National All Breeds Show, which has been relocated to the event this year. The Meat Makers zone will also move from the main hall into the livestock area – which will see an increase in stall numbers from 240 to 300.

Including a similar area for the sheep sector will be discussed after the 2011 event.

Changes to this year’s event

Following feedback from last year’s visitors and livestock exhibitors, a number of tweaks will be made to the 2011 event, explains Mr Everington:

• Zones will be arranged into regular blocks

• Suspended signs will indicate different zones

• Accommodation for stockman will be improved

• Toilets will be located nearer to the livestock hall

• More concrete will be put down outside the livestock area to speed up the loading and offloading process

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