Dairy company Arla Foods is joining Sainsbury’s in a new voluntary scheme that will see its farmer owners receive a guaranteed price and home for their calves at conception when producing Aberdeen Angus beef for the retailer’s Taste the Difference range.
The partnership aims to find a guaranteed price and home for every calf that meets its specification, in a collaboration with beef processor ABP through its Blade Farming operation.
Arla says this partnership will enable Sainsbury’s to provide more consistency in taste across its ‘Taste the Difference’ range, as well as improved traceability and consistent animal welfare standards.
Through this partnership, Arla farmers also have the opportunity to use specific Aberdeen Angus genetics on their herd, as they prepare for the implementation of the ‘Every calf has a value’ policy which comes into effect from the end of this year across all Arla farms.
“By working closely with Arla and ABP, we want to create a supply chain that is fully integrated, can deliver that consistency and is going to safeguard a home for calves produced by Arla dairy farmers and the Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group.”
Kate Liversidge, Arla’s agriculture innovation manager, said: “Since we announced our ‘Every calf has a value’ policy we have been working across the supply chain to identify new outlets for our farmer owners. The cornerstone of this collaboration with Sainsbury’s and ABP is a forward commitment to purchase calves in line with agreed specifications, which will give both Arla dairy farmers and the finished beef producers confidence in forming a long-term supplying relationship with Sainsbury’s.”
The scheme is open for all Arla Farmers as long as their herd is predominantly Holstein or Holstein/Friesian and they meet the criteria such as all year-round calving and milk recording. Through the programme, Aberdeen Angus calves produced on Arla dairy farms will move to dedicated rearing units before being grown and finished on dedicated farms.
Jocelyn Orr, beef agriculture manager at Sainsbury’s, added: “Providing our customers with a consistent end product and eating experience is challenging when sourcing beef animals from a wide range of breeds and farming systems. By working closely with Arla and ABP, we want to create a supply chain that is fully integrated, can deliver that consistency and is going to safeguard a home for calves produced by Arla dairy farmers and the Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group.”
Arla farmer owner, Graham Wells, concluded: “What’s great about this opportunity is that by linking up the supply chain the whole system knows what calves are coming and when. It’s a fantastic opportunity to breed quality beef while providing profit back to the dairy farmer.”