Tulip cleared for Easey takeover

The Competition & Markets Authority has approved a significant consolidation of the UK pig herd through integrated producer and processor Tulip’s acquisition of the Suffolk family-owned pig farming business Easey Holdings, stating that no further action is necessary.

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Tulip, the UK arm of Danish Crown, first announced the acquisition in September 2017. The company already owns the BQP pig production company, and the addition of Easey gives it control of around 15% of the UK sow breeding herd.

Easey Holdings comprises four businesses – pig breeding; pig rearing and finishing; a veterinary practice and a livestock transport business.  Tulip says the investment in British farming is a commitment to the UK by Danish Crown that reinforces the organisation’s commitment to global farming.

 “This is great news for Tulip, for Easey Holdings, for our customers and our consumers,” says Andrew Saunders, agriculture director at the Tulip farming division, Tulip Agriculture. “Tulip is a true champion of the UK pig farming industry while Danish Crown remains absolutely committed to continued inward investment into the UK.”

“Tulip Agriculture,  the farming and pig supply division of Tulip), will be working closely with the Easey management team, staff, farmers, suppliers and customers to ensure the continued successful operation of the Easey farming network as part of the Tulip Group.”

Posted on January 3, 2018 and filed under Company News, Livestock.

EU clears UK biofuel crops for next five years

The European Commission has confirmed that Red Tractor assured combinable crops and sugar beet are fully authorised as sustainable biofuel feedstocks for the next five year period.

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It says this new recognition under the EU Renewable Energy Directive will run until 2023, regardless of whatever happens as a result of the ongoing Brexit process.  But UK growers who have converted land to arable in order to produce biofuel crops in the last 10 years will have to keep additional records, with peatland excluded from the scheme except under certain conditions.

The previous five year period had expired in August 2017, causing some difficulty with harvest movements. The Commission granted two short-term extensions to allow UK biofuel crops to be traded and moved ahead of the full reauthorisation.

Defra estimates that some 70,000 hectares of UK arable crops are grown for the biofuels market each year. There are 16,500 UK combinable crop and sugar beet growers in the Red Tractor scheme.

“It’s taken a huge amount of technical work to get our full five-year renewal , but we now have that confirmation from the European Commission,” says Red Tractor chief executive Jim Moseley. “What this means for farmers is that for the next five years they have free market access to the biofuel market and there is no additional cost or assessment required for Red Tractor assured farms.”

Bangor funded for phosphorus and food security research

Bangor University is to receive £4.9 million to lead an interdisciplinary research project into increasing the resilience and sustainability of the UK food system. The University’s School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography will use the cash to investigate how to make the best sustainable use of phosphorus in the UK food system. Professor Paul Withers will lead the team of biophysical and socio-economic scientists.

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Although phosphorus is vital in crop and livestock production, it is a major cause of water pollution. The UK has no natural resources of phosphorus, relying on imports in the form of fertilisers and animal feed. A few countries, including Morocco, China, Syria and Algeria, control most of the world’s non-renewable phosphorus reserves. The UK is therefore vulnerable to fluctuations in the price and availability of phosphorus, with implications for future food security. Efforts to make better use of phosphorus and to recycle it are hampered by a lack of understanding of how the landscape retains phosphorus inputs and how they can be managed to deliver profitable agriculture while protecting water resources.   

Experts in global phosphorus sustainability, science, food system vulnerability, catchment science, environmental engineering, adaptive capacity and economic modelling from Bangor University; the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology; the Agri-Food and Bioscience Institute; Leeds University and the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia, are taking part in a project to use less phosphorus on the land, use it more efficiently and reduce water pollution.

Professor Withers comments: “This is an exciting project because it is the first time that a comprehensive attempt has been made to evaluate the current vulnerability of the UK’s food systems to potential phosphorus shortages, or to develop and implement a strategy to increase their sustainability.

“The end result of the three-year project will place the UK in a much better position to face expected phosphorus supply constraints and price fluctuations, and to enable the sustainable intensification of UK agriculture to meet an expected rise in demand for food supplies. Better management of phosphorus in agriculture and related industries, and also in waste treatment, would also improve our waterways, and support the wildlife in those environments.”



Fifth family generation joins I’Anson

Hattie I’Anson, daughter of sales director Will I’Anson and niece of managing director Chris I’Anson, is the first of a fifth generation to join the family-owned animal feed business. I’Anson Brothers, founded in 1900 and based in Masham, North Yorkshire, operates British Horse Feeds and also manufacturers micronised ingredients.

Hattie I'Anson and Steph Baul

Hattie I'Anson and Steph Baul

Ms I’Anson joins the company as a sales representative after two years since graduation working in sales roles in London and Leeds. Her new role will cover sales generation, managing customer accounts, creating and developing marketing strategies and looking at entry strategies in home and overseas markets. There will also be some product development work, where her experience owning and riding horses will prove useful.

“Welcoming the fifth generation of the family to the business is a real pleasure and something I know all our predecessors would have been very proud to see,” comments Chris I’Anson. “Hattie has grown up with an in-depth understanding of the industry and she will be a fantastic addition to the company as we look to continue to progress in the future.”

Ms I’Anson adds: “This company is something I’ve grown up with, so to be given the chance to join it and help contribute to its ongoing success is a wonderful opportunity. While it is a little daunting to join the family firm, I can’t wait to put what I’ve learnt into practice.”

The company has also promoted Steph Baul from an administration role to become a feed sales representative. From a dairy farm background, Ms Baul has worked at the I’Anson for three years. Her new responsibilities include promoting the company’s feeds; visiting customers; attending agricultural shows and markets; building relationships and helping customers with advice and placing orders.

“Steph has been an important member of the company for a number of years, and she will continue to be a huge asset to the business through her new role in feed sales,” says Mr I’Anson.

Posted on December 22, 2017 and filed under Feed, People.

Alta Genetics and Genex to merge bovine operations

Two global cattle genetics and herd management service providers have agreed to merge, subject to regulatory consents.

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The Dutch family-owned Koepon Holding owns the Alta Genetics operation, while Cooperative Resources International (CRI), a member-owned business based in the US dairy state of Wisconsin, controls the Genex business.

Koepon, with its headquarters in Northern Holland, also supplies the Valley Ag Software dairy management suite and the SCCL range of premium calf nutrition products. CRI’s activities include the AgSource agricultural testing and data analysis service and the MOFA Global business that develops assisted reproductive technologies for all livestock species.

The agreement, which requires approval by CRI members as well as final ratification by both company boards, could be finalised by mid-2018, with the newly-merged organization headquartered in Wisconsin.

Eden developing natural nematicide

Eden Research, the UK microencapsulation specialist working with the agrochemicals, animal health and consumer product sectors, has announced a new terpene-based nematicide.


The company’s distribution partner, Tennessee-based Eastman Chemical has submitted regulatory dossiers to the authorities in Europe Israel and Mexico for a new nematicide, Cedroz. It is indicated for the control of a wide range of economically important nematodes, particularly root knot nematodes in fruit and vegetable production. The first sales are expected towards the end of 2019.

 The partners describe Cedroz as an innovative formulation based on specific nature-identical terpenes and using an encapsulation technology developed and patented by Eden Research. No residues were found in the crops at harvest in all the regulatory trials completed, while it is claimed the favourable toxicological regulatory profile provides a high level of flexibility on application timings.

“We are very pleased with the progress that Eastman has made with the far-reaching registration of Cedroz in its territories,” says Eden chief executive Sean Smith. “It is building an impressive platform for the commercialisation of Cedroz as an important solution to the challenges that nematodes create for farmers globally.” 

AIM-listed Eden research has its headquarters in Cirencester.

Posted on December 22, 2017 and filed under Crop Protection Products, R&D.

Assurance schemes passed for 2018 rodenticide purchases

There are 11 UK farm assurance schemes, with a combined membership of 95,000 farm businesses, compliant with the UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime for 2018, confirms the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) which administers the initiative.


This means scheme members will be able to purchase stewardship-label professional rodenticides from January onwards, and that storekeepers will be able to sell these products with proof of scheme membership. At the same time, sellers of professional use rodenticides to pest controllers, farmers and gamekeepers are required to be registered with BASIS Registration by  December 31st for a stewardship point-of-sale audit so that rodenticide manufacturers ensure their UK resellers of  professional use products maintain standards.

As before, farmers outside the approved schemes have three options:  to take an approved training course; employ a certified professional pest controller or use rodenticides authorised for amateur use.

The 11 assurance schemes verified for compliance with stewardship conditions and the CRRU UK Code of Best Practice are:  the AIC's Trade Assurance Scheme for Combinable Crops; British Egg Industry Council's Lion code; Duck Assurance Scheme; Farm Assured Welsh Livestock; Laid in Britain; Northern Ireland Beef & Lamb Farm Quality Assurance and NI FQA Cereals; Red Tractor Farm Assurance; Quality British Turkey; Quality Meat Scotland and Scottish Quality Crops.

More information: http://www.thinkwildlife.org

Posted on December 21, 2017 and filed under UK Policy & Regulation, News.

New chief for RUMA

Chris Lloyd is to become secretary-general of the cross-industry Responsible Use of Medicines in Agriculture (RUMA) Alliance from January 1st 2018. He succeeds former MAFF and Defra civil servant John FitzGerald who retires at the end of 2017 after six years at RUMA – Mr Fitzgerald joined RUMA in October 2011 after 10 years as operations director at the Veterinary Medicines Directorate, and a previous career in livestock administration.

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Mr Lloyd was director of knowledge exchange at the AHDB until July this year, where part of his role was to lead AHDB activity on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) across the pork, dairy and beef and lamb sectors. He started his career at the National Sheep Association, and completed a Nuffield Farming Scholarship to study the sheep industries of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. He joined the redmeat levy body EBLEX in 2003, which was subsequently merged into the AHDB.

Mr Fitzgerald says the last 18 months has seen a “significant breakthrough” in the responsible use of antibiotics in UK farming, with a record low in antibiotic sales to livestock producers and a set of demanding targets to further reduce, refine or replace antibiotic use over the next three years.

“RUMA has transformed from more of an advisory organisation to really driving change across the main livestock sectors in terms of antibiotic use,” he notes. “I’m proud to have been involved at this critical time, and pleased to leave at a point when our farming industry has proved a leader in this antibiotic resistance debate.”

Mr Lloyd adds: “The challenge of AMR and the wider drive for responsible use of all medicines will be ever present for the livestock sectors over the next few years.”