Arla farmers and Sainsbury’s launch Integrated Beef Programme

The scheme gives farmers the opportunity to breed beef while providing profit back to the farm
The scheme gives farmers the opportunity to breed beef while providing profit back to the farm

Dairy co-operative Arla has partnered with Sainsbury’s to find a guaranteed price and home for every calf that meets its specification.

The voluntary scheme will see farmers receive a guaranteed price and home for their calves at conception, when producing Aberdeen Angus beef for the retailer.

The partnership, which includes beef processor ABP, aims to enable Sainsbury's to provide more consistency in taste across its 'Taste the Difference' range.

It also seeks to improve traceability and consistent animal welfare standards across the supply chain.

Farmers 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 in to effect from the end of this year across all Arla farms.

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 is a forward commitment to purchase calves in line with agreed specifications, which will give both 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 dairy farms will move to dedicated rearing units before being grown and finished on dedicated farms.

Jocelyn Orr, beef agriculture manager at Sainsburys, said: "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.

"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 dairy farmers and the Sainsbury’s Dairy Development Group."