Using Collaborative Power to Secure the Best Feed Prices for Your Farm
We are working hard to ensure our Farmer Shareholders, members, and customers receive the most competitive price on their livestock feed and receive the best nutritional advice as we head into summer.
We're advising our Farmer Shareholders, members and customers to prioritise their summer compound and blend feed contracts amid risk of more turbulence in the raw material markets. With milk and grain prices falling, some farmers may be waiting and hoping for a more settled outlook.
Head of Agri Procurement Daniel McCreadie suggests farmers consider taking some summer cover now to protect against any market volatility.
He said: "There was a massive cost rise at the beginning of the Ukraine war, but over the last six months, that has fallen and now stabilised. Unfortunately, the global situation and the ongoing conflict with Russia means there is still the possibility of big price surges at any point."
We constantly gather information to make informed market decisions. This includes the stability of the grain corridor, the news out of Russia, the EU's position on Ukrainian exports, post-Covid currency fluctuations and the UK and worldwide grain supplies, for example.
Mr McCreadie said: "Taking everything into account, we believe now is the time to lock in your summer feed requirements. With the falls we have seen this winter, the upsides on pricing now heavily outweigh the downsides. We want to help our farmers mitigate the risks. By buying at a fixed amount, they won't have to worry about price volatility as the global picture continues to rapidly unfold. No one has a crystal ball, but locking in the feed price now will give you some certainty in an increasingly uncertain world," he said.
Our scale brings significant buying power, helping indicate to farmers when it's right to buy and how much it's worth covering. This helps save farmers money yearly by contracting straights in a forward position rather than buying spot.
As well as sound buying advice, we help our customers remain competitive and meet current challenges through expert nutritional advice, range of feed products and investment in facilities and products.
For example, we have pioneered the carbon footprint measurement of every compound, blend and straight that is produced with the information included on all its conventional dairy compounds and blends. Our Climate Positive Impact range of feeds has been further expanded to help customers who wish to transition away from using soya and palm-based products.
Farmer Shareholders can also earn points from feed, mineral and fertiliser purchases, with almost £300,000 returned to our Farmer Shareholders through a loyalty bonus scheme. This is in addition to over £740,000 returned to Farmer Shareholders through retail discounts as part of the £2.2 million of retail discounts given back to all our shareholders and members in the financial year 21/22.
We have also added a new environmental report to its farm nutrition rationing programme that details milk yield and quality, the carbon footprint of the ration, faecal nitrogen output, milk protein efficiency and enteric methane production. Together these parameters account for up to 65% of a farm's total carbon footprint. Understanding these numbers and how to reduce them is crucial in managing overall farm performance and meeting environmental objectives.
A recent £4m investment upgrading our Lifton Mill, which will be completed this summer, will further improve our competitive advantage by increasing raw material storage capacity and reducing manufacturing costs. The upgrade will also enhance diet formulation accuracy and will improve the environmental impact of the site.
Kevin Singleton, Director of Agri Operations, said: "Our farmer Shareholders and customers expect Mole Valley Farmers to be competitive on price and to deliver a first-class service level. This is achieved with the infrastructure we have in place, our continued investment, such as that with the Lifton Mill upgrade and the recent investment in our local mill teams, from Customer Services, production through to our logistics teams.
“We firmly believe cooperation and collaboration are crucial to success in the changing landscape. Particularly with our feed business, the best way to keep prices as low as possible with great service levels is through our collective strength in numbers and utilising economies of scale. As a farmer-owned business, if we work together to keep our feed mills at optimum capacity, we can keep production and logistics costs per tonne to a minimum," he added.