Monday, July 15, 2019

Arable farmers turn to chickens to secure post-Brexit future

July 2, 2019 by  
Filed under News & Business

An Essex farming family has turned to free range chickens in a bid to help secure its future in preparation for the UK leaving the European Union.

A new poultry unit is under construction at Belchamp St Paul where David and Harry Middleditch obtained planning permission last month. The 40,000-bird free range facility is expected to begin production in late summer.

The idea of free range chickens as a profitable diversification is appealing to an increasing number of arable farmers following a promotion by Traditional Norfolk Poultry at last year’s Cereals event – and the Essex unit is their first to go ahead in East Anglia.

£1m investment

“With farming facing an uncertain future after Brexit, we believe this is an exciting new opportunity for diversification,” said  TNP co-founder Mark Gorton. “After the launch at the 2018 event we have been overwhelmed by the level of interest from farmers across East Anglia.”

Mr Gorton added: “We are looking for farmers willing to invest up to £1m to set up a poultry unit.  This will bring a substantial addition to the farm income as well as returning their investment within ten years.”

TNP is a leading supplier of high-welfare chickens to major UK retailers. Its growth has been based on contract production across more than 50 sites – owning the birds, housing and equipment and paying farmers for their facilities and management of the flocks.

The company says its Full Cycle Chicken Growing Contract enables farmers to enter the expanding market for welfare-friendly poultry. TNP provides a complete package from the initial planning, screening, house and range design-and-build through to training for new growers.

The new business model is based on farmers themselves investing in purpose-built static housing specifically designed by TNP for larger flocks while providing the birds with the highest possible welfare and making the best utilization of a fully enriched range.

High welfare ethos

“We also have established contacts for funding to finance the whole project,” said Mr Gorton.

“Unlike some other types of diversification, the success does not hinge on the marketing expertise of the farmer – but it does require the farmer to buy into our whole high welfare farming ethos.”

The optimum site is 5ha of land with three houses for a total of 40,000 birds projected to cost around £1 million to construct. But there are smaller options available too for farmers who wish to get involved in poultry production.

The project was designed with help and advice from two experienced colleagues: Jim Lambert, who joined TNP as agricultural manager in 2017 after almost 25 years with Cobb; and Lionel Halls who has spent his career in the poultry sector.

studiopress

barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher barbour pas cher golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi golden goose saldi doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher doudoune moncler pas cher moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online moncler outlet online