Sustainability in action – the Twenty20 Beef Club
In a ground-breaking initiative, Glanbia Ireland and the Kepak Group introduced the ‘Twenty20 Beef Club’ to sustainably produce and market Irish heifer and steer beef.
This Programme sees two leading producers in farm inputs and beef production combine their skills to create a vertically integrated calf-to-beef programme.
Under a predictable-pricing model, calves from Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ dairy herds will be reared and finished on dairy or beef farms and processed in a Kepak facility.
It also creates a strong ‘closed-loop’ traceability system, as all inputs such as nutrition, health and grassland fertiliser must be purchased through Glanbia Ireland. Nutritional products will be fortified with methane-reducing feed additives. This supports the establishment of industry-leading marketing claims.
The overriding aim of the Programme is to improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of calf-to-beef production in Ireland for dairy and beef farmers, with all calves from dairy dams in the Club emanating from the Glanbia Dairy Herd.
Additional value will be created by sustainably producing beef, attaining complete traceability (not just in movement) and transparency through:
- Genetics and Agri Technologies
- Animal Health and Welfare
- Nutrition & Grassland Management
- Transparent Pricing, Premiums and Bonuses
- An optional Advance Payment Package
Today’s consumers increasingly seek a better understanding of where their food comes from. Considerations such as their personal health, the health/welfare of animals (in the food chain) and their impact on the environment occupy people's minds and drive their purchase decisions. Consumers want to enjoy what they eat and feel good about it.
Twenty20 Beef Club was launched in April 2019 with a target intake of 6,000 calves for the pilot year of 2019 and it was massively oversubscribed. The Club set a target of 20,000 calves for the 2020 intake and 50,000 for 2021 and future years.
The Twenty20 Beef Club is open to Dairy, Calf-to-Beef and Suckler Beef farmers. To become a member a farmer must rear a minimum of 25 calves from the Glanbia Dairy Herd.
Suckler farmers that purchase dairy beef calves can also enrol qualifying animals bred and produced on their own farm that meet the Club programme criteria. Glanbia Co-op members of the Twenty20 Beef Club can benefit from an advanced payment of up to €770 per animal (paid in 22 instalments) to provide cash flow during the animal’s lifetime.
The Twenty20 Beef Club initiative will help support the reputation of the Irish livestock industry by improving the quality and value of beef calves emanating from the dairy, herd and securing customer loyalty on the strength of its unique product attributes.
Animals enrolled in the first two years (2019 and 2020) of the Club will be paid the average market price, plus a Club Premium of 15 to 25 cent per kg, as well as a Club Compliance Bonus of 12 to 20c/kg. Club Members will also benefit from additional price support in the event of a weak market price.
There will also be a “seasonality” bonus to promote the marketing of animals in April (+6c/kg), May (+10c/kg) and June (+6c/kg). Members of the Club will also be eligible for Angus or Hereford breed bonus payments, which are guaranteed at the point of entry for 2019-2020.
These payments will earn the producer circa €100/head over the prevailing market returns.
Members of the Club will be required to strictly adhere to a defined rearing programme – jointly developed by Glanbia Ireland and Kepak.
Glanbia Ireland and Kepak have designed the initial five-year Programme to meet ambitious economic and environmental performance targets. These include:
- Breeding animals with superior beef qualities;
- A reduction in the average age at slaughter of Club cattle to 24 months on average;
- A reduction in the average Carbon footprint of Club farms: achieved through the use of methane-reducing feed additives, lowering the average age of slaughter, improved feed conversion efficiency, less feed waste and improved fertility across the herd;
- An improvement in the 'eating quality' attributes of the Club meat through a combination of better genetics, nutrition management and optimum processing techniques;
- An increase in the proportion of dairy-bred cattle meeting market-specified targets;
- An increase in beef output and sales value per hectare – through enhanced on-farm efficiencies, breeding, feeding, grassland management, animal health/welfare and slaughter preparation and selection.