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Author Topic: Farm to fork and everything in between.  (Read 1852 times)

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Farm to fork and everything in between.
« on: April 11, 2017, 10:21:01 pm »
Evening,

I've been wondering about the process that large scale farmers go through for processing of their livestock.

Can anyone confirm what I think happens or correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Farmer sells directly to supermarket / food chain supplier
2. Farmer sells livestock at markets and either other farmers, supermarkets, butchers etc buy from there and then resell as dead stock.

What's the most profitable way for the farmer?

On a slightly different note if I had a pig or lamb killed by the abattoir and butchered by a local butcher can I sell that meat on to say pubs or restaurants or friends and family. /general public.

greenbeast

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2017, 09:24:36 pm »
Evening,

I've been wondering about the process that large scale farmers go through for processing of their livestock.

Can anyone confirm what I think happens or correct me if I'm wrong.

1. Farmer sells directly to supermarket / food chain supplier
2. Farmer sells livestock at markets and either other farmers, supermarkets, butchers etc buy from there and then resell as dead stock.

What's the most profitable way for the farmer?

On a slightly different note if I had a pig or lamb killed by the abattoir and butchered by a local butcher can I sell that meat on to say pubs or restaurants or friends and family. /general public.

by far the most profitable per animal is number 1, but the world isn't set up for everyone to be like that. Some are good stockmen but useless with people and also lots of people want to buy from supermarkets not from individual farms/ farm shops.

you will need to speak to you EHO, it is fairly easy if you are not processing any meat yourself

CarolineJ

  • Joined Dec 2015
  • North coast of Scotland
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2017, 07:07:51 am »
It also partly depends on the farm.  With sheep, for hill farms it's not profitable to send lambs off fat, so we sell them as store lambs through the mart, they travel south and fatten before being sold on again.  The big supermarkets prefer not to buy directly from the marts, because it means that they have to deal with whole lambs rather than being able to say 'We want X packs of liver and 10X legs', so the finished lambs will be sold to a broker who'll arrange for them to be slaughtered and packed according to orders and the surplus non-supermarket bits sold elsewhere. 

With things like milk and eggs, the supermarkets try to go directly to the farms and work on a cost-plus basis - they'll send in a consultant to scrutinise absolutely every aspect of production, advise on how to lower costs, benchmark against other farms they buy from and then issue a contract based on the farm's theoretical cost to produce one unit plus a negotiated percentage. 

farmers wife

  • Joined Jul 2009
  • SE Wales
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2017, 08:05:34 pm »
As a commercial farmer there is no answer to this as it depends on so many variables. 


With selling direct off farm to say 3rd party restuarants takes a lot of labour and time plus packaging, H&S, EH etc.  As much as some say its good money when you sit down and work out man hours, transportation, selling, etc - it only works in numbers ie you are like a wholesale and its a persons entire job - selling one animal a week isnt efficient. Therefore you need to be shifting a lot of meat a week on a rolling basis.


Selling to market is dependent on market price and is usually low but its the advantage that you can shift it whatever. This is a popular way.


You have to have a 'contract' with a supermarket.  Again very efficient but can be open to market variables.  You would need to supply to a consistent standard and meet the confirmation of say 4RL for lambs.  Any different you get discounted.  Organic and sired beef will give you a better price. You need numbers to be involved in this one.


To sell to butchers you need to sell once again a high standard and usually in affluent areas as they wont give you much.  Again organic or pasture fed may give you an advantage. A high class butcher usually wants more than one and on a regular basis. Most standard butchers sell from wholesale from anywhere in the country.


You can sell to who you like but you must keep records of the chain.  Dont forget usual run of the mill restaurants want cheap as they are usually buying from wholesale.  You need to have a good business brain, strict cash flow and be on your guard selling to 3rd party.  Most stipulate cuts which gets you entering a nightmare.  Highclass restaurants will buy but usually in numbers and from people who are experienced and are able to supply.


You can simply box an animal from the butchers and sell it - say a lamb.  But be warned you need to do your costings and not be swayed by opinions. This is simple and far the best especially if you want to shift say 5 lambs.  Finding the customers is not always easy and people say they'll have it but change their minds.  Get deposits up front.  I can tell so many stories.

DenisCooper

  • Joined May 2016
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2017, 09:26:06 pm »
Great reply thanks for
Clarifying points

harmony

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2017, 09:37:11 pm »
If you want to sell your meat to anyone, including friends and family, then as said previously you will need to speak to EHO who will help you be register and ensure your meet certain criteria.


The only other way would be for your customers to collect straight from the butcher.

waterbuffalofarmer

  • Joined Apr 2014
  • Mid Wales
  • Owner of 61 Mediterranean water buffaloes
Re: Farm to fork and everything in between.
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2017, 01:23:33 pm »
Another profitable way would be to breed pedigree stock and sell via society sales, not only make a name for yourself but alos get good prices, although will take time, then expanding into the meat business of your own. Problem with selling at the local mart for example is that the prices are pretty rubbish. I myself am aiming for the pedigree and then the meat trade...  The thing you could do to stand out would be the speciality product market, which would make it stand out from the crowd and therefore worth more...
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