40 British Companies Attend VIV Asia

More than 40 UK companies exhibited at the recent VIV Asia Expo held 15-17 March 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, with UK genetics at the forefront of the UK Pavilion.

The biennial event again took place at the BITEC exhibition centre with more than 1,000 companies present, welcoming over 60,000 visitors:  decision-making professionals from around the world. UK companies reported business interest from countries that Great Britain does not traditionally exhibit in such as Australia, Cambodia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.

The UK stand was busy on all 3 days with many interesting seminars taking place throughout the event - all held on site to which UK exhibitors were able to contribute.

For this edition, the organisers arranged a 'Chinese Day' bringing a select group of 50 integrators to the UK Pavilion on Day One where Marcus Bates, Chief Executive of the British Pig Association and representative of UK TAG, the Appointed Trade Organisation responsible for the British trade presence, was able to introduce the UK industry. Day Two saw a dedicated UK Seminar Programme in partnership with the event organisers.

With the support of AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) and the British Embassy, the event supported B2B meetings with the Chinese delegation together with a successful networking reception at the British Ambassador's residence.


UK Export to Tristan de Cunha

UK company exports bull semen to remote South Atlantic island

Red Poll Bull Fedw Stig

Red Poll Bull Fedw Stig

UK exports may be having a boom with extra impetus from the devalued currency, but there’s one company from the south west of England whose latest shipment is quirkier than most. Cattle breeding company, UK Sire Services, has just exported a consignment of native British bull semen to Tristan da Cunha – a tiny and remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic.

The consignment left Manchester late last year, was received in Capetown, South Africa en route, and made the final 2,400km (1,500 miles) leg of the journey by boat. From the island’s tiny harbour, it was taken by tractor into secure storage.

The semen straws included were from the bulls Albany Ludlow, a pure English Hereford, owned by Les Cook & Family from Cambridge; Fedw Stig, a Red Poll owned by John Williams from Shropshire; Gear Blue Moon, an Aberdeen Angus owned by Mark Pilcher, Director of UK Sire Services; and Morlais Dewi Sant, a Welsh Black owned by Hywel Davies from near Merthyr Tydfil.

The eclectic mix of genetics has been chosen for use on Tristan’s own mostly Hereford and Angus cattle where it is hoped they will improve their productivity for both beef and milk. The native British breeds have been selected for their ability to thrive on limited supplies of grazed grass and for their ease of management in sometimes challenging situations.

Neil Swain, who works for Tristan’s agriculture department, formerly studied at Harper Adams University in Shropshire and instigated the shipment, says: “We haven’t had a change of breed for about eight years, so this will bring in some new blood, and we can keep some bulls from our best cows for breeding.”

Mr Swain works with the island’s only veterinary surgeon, and the two have been inseminating the island’s cattle during the breeding season through January and February. He became an insemination technician during his study trip to the UK and says he is delighted to have received the semen shipment after a complex and tortuous trip of over 10,000km (over 6,000 miles).

“The advice I was given by UK Sire Services about handling and storage of the straws was invaluable, and I would particularly like to thank Tim Brook, Store Manager at UK Sire Services, who kept me up-to-date on the shipment’s progress,” he says.

“The insemination period for our cattle has now come to an end, so we await the confirmed pregnancies with interest,” he says.

Rob Wills, managing director of UK Sire Services says: “We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of exporting to such a remote part of the world, through the authorities in South Africa and then by boat to Tristan.

“The fact that this is the 50th country or dependency UK Sire Services has exported to is something we are proud of as well,” he says.


Notes for editors:

UK Sire Services Ltd is an independent EU licenced business with one owned stud in the south west of England and working with one independent stud in the north west. Since the company’s establishment in 2001, semen has been processed from over 1,500 bulls representing 52 different breeds of cattle.

Semen has been exported by UK Sire Services worldwide, including to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St Helena, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United States, Uruguay and Vietnam. There are orders pending for many more countries as they open for trade.

Tristan da Cunha (colloquially known as Tristan), is the name of both a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabitedarchipelago in the world, lying 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from the nearest inhabited land, St Helena, and 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) from the nearest continental land, South Africa. The main (and only inhabited) island has a length from north to south of 11.27 km (7 miles).

For further information please contact Rob Wills, managing director, UK Sire Services Ltd on rob.wills@uksireservices.com or phone 01364 661506; 07980 894660.

Borderway UK Dairy Expo 11 March Preview

For the sixth year running, Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo is all set to be staged at the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle, on Saturday 11th March 2017.  This flagship event will be held at the Borderway and will see the very best of British dairy genetics and industry innovations gather together in front of a global audience.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the 2017 event is the 67 cattle classes, which include sections for Holsteins, Ayrshire, Jersey, Dairy Shorthorn, Red and White, Brown Swiss and British Friesian, who are also hosting their National Show.  Another key event in this year’s schedule is the Showmanship Youth Championships.  Aimed at encouraging and inspiring the next generation of dairy breeders, this event will bring together young breeders from across the UK and Europe to compete for the top honours.

Commenting in advance of the show classes, David Pritchard Event Organiser and Operations Director for Harrison and Hetherington said:  “Our excellent location and facilities here at the Borderway Centre put us in the perfect position for attracting the very best competitors from the UK’s main dairy producing areas. 

“We have a fantastic number of dairy cattle entered (360 head) in the show classes, which really does showcase the quality of the British dairy industry, and the extreme hard work of those involved, not only on the day, but on a day to day basis.  The event was extremely well represented last year with a very high calibre of entries across all classes.  With the number of entries we have received this year, we expect to top this and are very much looking forward to a truly exceptional show.”

Judging the classes will be a line-up of British and International judges: Roger Turner of Winconsin, America will judge the Holstein classes; Canada’s Blair Weeks, of Prince Edward Island, will judge the Coloured breed classes; the UK’s Meurig James will judge the British Friesian National Show; Paul Harrison of Northumberland, UK, will judge the Champion of Champions; and Michael Halliwell, also from the UK, will judge the UK and International Showmanship Championships.

As in previous years, the demonstrations are highly anticipated and offer Dairy Farmers the chance to gain an insight into the services available to them to help maximise the efficiency of their enterprise, or simply improve the overall quality of their herd.  Demonstrations by Cogent will commence at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm and will run for approximately one hour.  Demonstrations by Alltech KEENAN will take place at 10.30am and 1.30pm.

Returning to Borderway UK Dairy Expo for the fifth year is The John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award is in memory of the life time industry contribution made by Cumbrian dairy farmer and highly regarded breeder, John Dennison, with the aim of recognising a high achiever and excellent role model within the dairy industry.  Former recipients have included Mike Miller of Shanael Holsteins, near Evesham in Worcestershire, John Gribbon and Sammy McCormick, of the Hilltara Herd, Bangor.  The 2016 recipient was renowned Holstein breeder, and 2016 Champion of Champions exhibitor, Alister Laird of Blyth Bridge, Peebleshire.

Taking place in the evening, following Borderway UK Dairy Expo, is the All-Britain Awards Presentation Dinner and Dance, sponsored by Holstein UK and Cattle Information Service (CIS).  This will take place at The Shepherd’s, Carlisle, and tickets are available to order email Carolyn.charlton@borderway.com.

Testament to the success of Borderway UK Dairy Expo is the continued support from the mainline sponsors: Holstein UK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and Harrison and Hetherington.

For more information on Borderway UK Dairy Expo please visit www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk, entrance to the event is free of charge. 


British Simmentals head to Azores

The largest exportation of British Simmental Cattle left on the 7th February
2017 for the Azores. The Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands in the
North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal.

The exportation consisted of consignments from Mr & Mrs Moffat, Innerwick
Farm, Innerwick, Dunbar, East Lothian East Lothian, EH42 1SE; Mr Richard
McCulloch, Over Hill House, Armadale, West Lothian, EH48 3AR - managed by
John Hughes; and J C McLaren & Partners, Knox House, Coldwells Road, Crieff,
Perthshire, PH7 4BB - managed by Tom Henderson.

In total 13 heifers and 3 bulls were exported to the Azores with the transport and certification organised by Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton Farm, Dumfries.

Genus/PIC enter partnership with Hermitage


Genus, a leading global animal genetics company, and Hermitage, one of the longest established pig breeding companies in Europe, have announced that they have signed an agreement to enter into a strategic partnership covering the supply of porcine genetics in several markets.  

PIC, Genus's porcine division, will acquire the genetic rights and intellectual property of Hermitage. Hermitage will also become a strategic supply chain and distribution partner for PIC. In addition, PIC will acquire certain Hermitage customer relationships in various geographies including Russia, the US and several European countries. The transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions which are expected to be fulfilled by the end of March 2017.  

The partnership combines PIC's genetics expertise and quality, and Hermitage's supply chain network and operational excellence. This combination will strengthen PIC's ability to deliver genetic improvement in Europe and provide customers of both PIC and Hermitage with access to top-tier genetics and optimal technical and health services.

Hermitage was established in 1958 in Ireland and is one of the longest established porcine breeding and genetics companies in Europe. Over the years, Hermitage has grown into a multinational porcine breeding company.

British Limousin Sales Reach £5.6 Million


Gross sales of pedigree Limousin cattle, sold at official British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) auction sales in 2016, increased in the year by over £300,000 to a figure of £5.6 Million. Recently released figures show that total pedigree Limousin sales in the year came in at £5,646,159 - up by almost £308,225 on the 2015 figure. 

In the course of the 2016, eighteen collective sales were held at Carlisle, Stirling, Brecon, Newark, Dungannon, Ballymena and Aberdeen respectively to gross £3,925,038. Official BLCS Breeders’ Sales, which comprise of Production, Reduction & Dispersal Sales, grossed a further £1,721,121 on behalf of 20 individual herds. Just under 1,450 animals were sold in all at pedigree Limousin sales in the year.

Commenting, BLCS Chairman John Phillips, Whitland, Carmarthenshire said:

 “These are terrific figures and reflective of the ongoing demand for the breed and the quality of the cattle being brought forward.  The suckler men and the feeders are looking for performance and efficiency.  They want easy-calving, cheap-to-keep, easy-managed cattle that are feed efficient, do well and hit the target weights and grades consistently. Limousins are fitting that bill.” 

“Commercially cattle that convert food efficiently, hit the ideal slaughter weights at the youngest possible age, and have repeatable, quality carcases consistently hitting the target grades, are very much in demand and finding reward.   There has been a significant and long term industry move to sourcing cattle at 15-16 months of age and weighing 350-380kgs and this has put a focus on medium sized cows producing fast growing calves that are finished at this age and hit the spec.  This change in market focus fits the Limousin breed extremely well as a suckler cow and producing first quality calves with top grades, good yield and high killing out percentages.  These are the principle factors in the strong performance at the Limousin sales through the year.”

In the last twelve years, Limousin pedigree sales have grossed just under £70 Million (£69,930,274). Whilst the high-end of the trade in 2016 saw 45 animals in the year make 10,000gns or more, the highest proportion of bulls at the sales were again sold between 2,000gns and 5,000gns.


Strong UK Presence at Ukraine Show

Representatives from the UK sheep, cattle and pig sectors were part of an impressive Great Britain & Northern Ireland presence at the Agro-Animal & Grain Tech Show held in Kiev, Ukraine, 15-17 February 2017. Supporting UK Agri-tech exports were the British Embassy Kiev, Department of International Trade (DIT) and UKTAG (UK Technology for Agriculture & Genetics). UK exhibitors were delighted to welcome Judith Gough, British Ambassador to Ukraine, to the stand to talk about developing trade between the UK and Ukraine.

Representatives from the UK livestock sector included Sue & Aubrey Andrews from Miserden Texels/British Texel Sheep Society, Chris Jackson from British Pig Association, Richard Saunders from BLG and Delta Wagyu Europe. Other UK companies present were JCB, Baker-Tilly, Househam, Addfield, Grain & Milling (Perendale Publishing) among others.

Whilst export health certificates are already in place for the UK to export bovine semen, porcine semen and breeding pigs to Ukraine, a key objective was to make ground on getting export protocols in place for breeding cattle and sheep as well as sheep semen. To this end, Chris Jackson & Richard Saunders met with Olga Shevchenko, Unit Chief for International Collaboration for the Ukrainian State Service for Food Safety & Consumer Protection to aid the ongoing work of UKECP (UK Export Certification Partnership).

Day 2 saw a series of seminars on behalf of the British-Ukrainian Business Forum to include presentations from: Dr Simon Docherty (pictured above), Animal Science & Aquaculture Specialist for the UK Government's Agri-Tech organisation; Chris Jackson, UKTAG, on Livestock Breeding for Profitable Production; and Mike Button, Coventry Chemicals, on the importance of farm biosecurity.

Ukraine Overview

Ukraine is a Priority One market for the UK. Prior to this event, Inward Trade Missions had taken place to the Livestock Event (July 2016), Lamma (Jan 2017) as well as a visit to the British Livestock stand at EuroTier (Nov 2016).

Ukraine has seen a big shift in animal production since the end of the Soviet era. Figures below show populations in millions in 1990 compared to the 2015 figures in brackets:

Cattle 25m (3m)

Pigs 20m (7m)

Sheep & Goats 9m (2m)

2015 figures reveal meat production levels in Ukraine as follows: poultry 1,144,000t; pork 760,000t; beef 384,000t; lamb 14,000t. 2015 import/export figures for meat are: poultry 161,000t/61,000t; beef 32,000t/1,000t; pork 12,000t/4,000t with lamb figures very small. Whilst animal breeding is spread throughout Ukraine, the largest areas are Lviv & Ivano-Frankivs'k in the Western Carpathians; Vinnytsya (Central), Poltava (central East) and Kharkiv (N East).

For further information, please contact Richard Saunders on 07901-768904

BCBC presents 'Practical Innovation - Today's Challenges for Tomorrow's Generation'

Held 23-25 January, the theme of the 2017 British Cattle Breeders Conference was "Practical Innovation: Today's Challenges for Tomorrow's Generation." With its mix of high-quality speakers giving both practical and technical insights into what the post-Brexit UK agricultural landscape might look like, full transcripts of both the beef day and dairy day presentations will be available to view shortly on www.cattlebreeders.org.uk.

British Charolais Appoints new CEO

British Charolais Cattle Society appoints Peter Phythian chief executive

Peter Phythian has been appointed chief executive of the British Charolais Cattle Society from 14 March. He succeeds David Benson who is retiring at the end of March after 29 years.

Peter brings 35 years of experience of working throughout the food chain – from grass roots to retail. He moves to the post from Eurofins where, as business manager he worked with the global company’s feed analysis, genomics, food legal advice and BRC audit divisions.

He began his career on the family’s Lancashire farm managing both pedigree Charolais and commercial cattle. After graduating with a diploma in agriculture, Peter worked with the Meat and Livestock Commission and the European Food Safety Inspection Services before being appointed MLC Commercial Services’ chief executive. He is a member of the Meat Innovation Group and in his spare time likes to watch Wigan Warriors Rugby League.

Peter commented, “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the British Charolais Cattle Society and I’m very much looking forward to meeting members and working with all members up and down the beef chain – breeders, commercial farmers, auction marts, processors and retailers, and to subsequently making a positive difference.”

BCCS chairman, Andrew Hornall commented: “David Benson has constantly demonstrated his unwavering commitment to professional excellence and to development of the Society over a period spanning almost three decades. It’s that solid foundation which David’s vision has forged combined with Peter’s leadership skills which I am confident will take the Society on to the next chapter. Peter has experience and expertise that will enable us to meet the industry’s ever evolving challenges and embark upon a very exciting new phase of our journey of growth and increasing brand awareness.”

British Cattle Breeders Conference Attracts Exciting Line-up of Speakers

An exciting line-up of speakers has been booked for the forthcoming
British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) annual British Cattle Conference,
which will take place on January 23-25, 2017. ‘Practical Innovation –
Today’s Challenges for Tomorrow’s Generation’ is the theme which has
been chosen for 2017 by Conference chairman, Iain Kerr, who is also the
chief executive of the British Limousin Society. The event,
which is being held once again at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort in
Shropshire, will see experts around the globe giving delegates an
insight into a variety of topics, including the latest technology for
improving profitability and the implications for cattle breeders

Founded in 1946, the British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) was formed to
promote the exchange of ideas on beef and dairy cattle production. Its
annual British Cattle Conference has become an important event in the
farming calendar, providing an opportunity to connect with some of the
industry’s leading scientists, specialists, veterinarians and best
practice farmers.

The post-Brexit panel discussion, entitled ‘Forging the Future in
Post-Brexit Britain,’ will take place on the Tuesday afternoon and is
expected to be one of the Conference highlights. Among the panellists is
Professor Nigel Scollan, the director of the Institute for Food Security
and an animal science specialist. He will be joined by George Lyon,
independent director of the AHDB, while Owen Paterson MP has been
provisionally booked as the third panellist.

Three eminent overseas speakers have accepted an invitation to speak at
the Conference; one is Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of
California, an internationally-recognised expert on gene editing who
will weigh up the pros and cons of the technique and explain its
relevance to the beef sector. Meanwhile, Jerry Wulf, of Minnesota, USA,
who has spent five decades building an integrated company which markets
50,000 commercial cattle a year, will describe all elements of his
production system, from genetics to consumer issues. The third overseas
speaker is Professor Theo Meuwissen, who has recently received the John
Carty award for the development of genomic selection and will be
travelling from Norway, to discuss whether genomics have been fully
exploited to date.

The BCBC committee, which organises the Conference, prides itself on
providing a wide-ranging mix of speakers and the programme always
contains presentations from some of the UK’s most forward-thinking
cattle producers. For 2017, Scotland’s Robert Veitch, who has been
recognised as having the first automated dairy farm in the country, has
been booked, along with 2015 ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’ award winner,
Meilir Jones.

Iain Kerr said:

“Since its inception, the BCBC has become a unique event, renowned for
its mix of practical, high quality speakers. With the future of cattle
breeding at heart, it links a wide spectrum of farmers, scientists,
students and industry influencers. BCBC is a fantastic forum to kick off
the New Year, challenging ideas, introducing new science and
technologies and providing the opportunity to meet people, stimulate
thought, debate and discuss. The 2017 BCBC Conference will of course be
the first since the Brexit vote and held in a year that will likely be a
formative one for UK agricultural and political history.

“We have seen over many years how cattle breeding has greatly benefitted
from the dynamic integration of science, new technologies, and
innovation. In this ‘new era’ I have no doubt that science and
innovation will never have been more important for farmers now and for
future generations. New thinking, and strengthening the ability to
innovate, will provide the advances and improvements that will increase
efficiencies and produce populations of animals that can respond to the
demands of a changing market place and deliver profitability.

“As we look to a market driven economy that will expect high levels of
production efficiency and will demand producer response to a wider
agenda of competing challenges such as climate change, health and animal
welfare, there is a need for us to examine whether the genetics we
propagate at herd and breed level will deliver what will be required.”

The British Cattle Conference extends a warm welcome to non-members,
although anyone with an interest in the UK cattle industry is encouraged
to join the BCBC; membership is £35 a year and includes a discount on
conference attendance fees. To book a place and for help with arranging
accommodation, please contact BCBC secretary, Heidi Bradbury 07966
032079 heidi.bradbury@cattlebreeders.org.uk

More detailed information about the BCBC and the British Cattle
Conference can be found on the website, www.cattlebreeders.org.uk

Join the UK Stand at Ukraine's Premier Agri Show

GrainTech & Agro-Animal Show, Kiev, Ukraine 15-17 February 2017

Invitation to join the UK Stand at the leading B2B agricultural trade fair in Ukraine

The British Embassy Kiev & Department of International Trade (DIT) Ukraine have arranged a joint UK stand to include shared facilities such as a meeting area and interpreter giving participating companies a first-class opportunity to explore the market potential of Ukraine. In addition, DIT Kiev have arranged a networking reception on 16 February along with group rates at the Ibis Hotel subject to availability.

With financial support from the (DIT), a grant of £2,000 has been made available for UK small and medium-sized businesses to attend this event. Stand holders taking 4 square metres will be charged £700 with one wall panel or pop-up to display graphics. A management fee of £400 is included in the price which includes: an experienced mentor accompanying the participants; an enhanced British stand; entry in a UK brochure; and services of a shared interpreter. If you would like an individual booth, please contact Chris Jackson of UK TAG, the Appointed Trade Organisation, for availability and price. Graphics for the stand will be coordinated by UKTAG.

The deadline for applications is Friday 6th January 2017.

Event Overview

                         􏰀  24,000 m2 exhibition space

                         􏰀  over 500 exhibitors from more than 15 countries

                         􏰀  over 15,000 visitors from leading Ukrainian/CIS companies

                         􏰀  Website: grainexpo.com.ua/ http://www.animal-show.kiev.ua/

Ukraine Overview

Ukraine is a Priority One Market for the UK - along with India and Southern Africa. An Inward Mission of 15 Ukrainian farmers visited the Livestock Event at the NEC, Birmingham, 6-7 July 2016 which was supported by UK DIT and accompanied by Mariya Kupriyanova, British Embassy, Kiev. A further Ukrainian farmers’ group visited the British Livestock stand at EuroTier, Hannover, 15-17 November 2016 accompanied by Oksana Petrusyk of DIT Ukraine. Export certificates are in place for bovine semen, porcine semen and live pigs. Although no certification is as yet approved, there is interest in breeding sheep and goats and other genetic material with Ukrainian companies keen to engage and support its development with the assistance of DIT and the British Embassy, Kiev.

Further Information & Contact

Stand Booking Form, TAP Grant Application Form and Information Pack are available from:

Chris Jackson, UK TAG, exports@uktag.co.uk, Tel 07801-826069


Beef Shorthorns Search for Top Student

Beef Student of the Year launched with £3k at stake

The Beef Shorthorn Society has launched Beef Student of the Year, a first-time award open to those studying agriculture or a related course at a UK agricultural college or university.

£2,000 is at stake for the winning student together with £1,000 to their place of study to be spent on a beef-related project. 

Students between the ages of 18 and 35 years are being invite to write an essay of up to 1,500 words, complemented with a 140-character Tweet describing how a commercial suckler unit could introduce Beef Shorthorn to its current model in order to develop a sustainable and profitable enterprise, without support payments, post-Brexit.

College and universities have the opportunity to nominate up to three essays each by 10 February deadline. The Beef Shorthorn Society’s judging panel will go on to select four finalists to attend a final judging round later in spring.

Beef Shorthorn Society chief executive, Milly Fyfe, commented: “We are pleased to launch this award – the first of its kind, which is designed to provide the upcoming generation with the opportunity to reflect the beef sector’s requirement for future producers, demonstrate an understanding of the industry and the challenges it faces post-Brexit, and how farmers will need to respond in order to achieve sustainability and profitability. 

“The judges will be seeking students who are able to best demonstrate they have an awareness of how to manage a profitable suckler beef enterprise post-Brexit, and the tools - both management and technical - they will deploy to achieve their goal. They must also demonstrate a commitment to progressing their career within the beef farming sector.”

Largest-ever Texel Export Heads to Switzerland

The largest single export of Texels to leave the UK has recently headed to Switzerland, with a total of 103 Texels from seven Scottish flocks exported at the end of September.

The consignment included both males and females, with both ram lambs and shearling rams among those purchased by the Swiss breeders. Gimmers made up the bulk of the females sent, with a selection of ewe lambs also bought, explained Robert Laird who coordinated the export. “They were once again looking for good, functional, commercial sheep with growth and carcass.”

Sheep in the consignment came from Mr Laird’s Cambwell flock, the Clark family’s Garngour, Teiglum and Clarks flocks, Angus McColm’s Crailloch flock, Jimmy Warnock’s Watchknowe flock, David McKerrow’s Nochnary flock and Allan Campbell’s Strawfank flock.

Swiss importer and breeder Heinz Pluss said the latest consignment of Texels to leave for the country had been sourced to meet growing demand and interest in the breed in Switzerland. “Interest in Texels is very high in Switzerland and some breeders are now undertaking performance recording too.”

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the continued export demand for British Texels and particularly performance recorded stock was something the breed could be rightly proud of.

“Exports of this size are rare, but it shows the appetite for British Texels in Switzerland and indeed Europe as a whole. The high level of performance recording among the breed is another determining factor for many buyers with importers seeking as much information about the sheep they’re buying as possible.

“Performance recording is another layer of detail and information which helps with their decision making process and gives reassurance about the genetic potential of the stock they are buying.”

Mr Pluss, says the advances made by British Texel breeders using performance recording are immediately obvious when the sheep are compared with those from other countries. “In the past some breeders imported Texels from Germany and France because they were cheaper there than in the UK. However, sadly they discovered there was no real difference to our local breeds.

“When I first imported British Texels it was soon clear to me that they were superior to all other breeds and types. There are no other sheep in Switzerland with such a potential for growth and such genetic potential,” says Mr Pluss.

“There is a massive difference in the quality of lamb I am now producing since switching to solely British Texels. Many butchers say they’ve never seen carcasses like those of the British Texel lambs.

“I had been dissatisfied with our local breeds and felt I couldn’t do anything to improve the quality of my sheep. British Texels have turned that around for me and no I’m seeing a steady demand for ram lambs from commercial sheep farmers looking to improve their flocks.”

Dynamic British Livestock stand at EuroTier

EuroTier 15-18 November 2016 was the venue for a dynamic British Livestock stand comprising sheep, cattle and pig breeding organisations, livestock exporters and AI companies.

Held in Hannover, Germany every two years, this is the world’s largest indoor agricultural exhibition boasting 150,000+ visitors and over 2,300 exhibitors and provided UK companies with a platform for promoting their sector to a global market.

British Livestock Stand at Eurotier 15-18 November

Please come and visit the British Livestock stand situated in Hall 11 E-06 during Eurotier 15-18 November in Hannover, Germany. Supported by the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG) and the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), there will be representatives on hand covering the beef, sheep, pig and dairy sectors. Exhibiting companies on the stand include: British Pig Association, Charollais Sheep Society, Delta Wagyu Europe, Eggs-Port Ltd, AE Ewing Livestock Exports, Suffolk Sheep Society & UK Sire Services. Please contact Richard Saunders 07901-768904 richardsaunders1965@yahoo.co.uk for further information. We look forward to seeing customers and friends old and new!

India-UK Tech Summit Focus on Agri-Tech

The India-UK Tech Summit taking place in New Delhi 7-9 November 2016 is an unprecedented three-day showcase and business expo designed to drive even greater levels of business between the UK and India. Included as a Focus Theme is Agri-Tech. It will be opened by the Prime Minister as part of her first overseas Trade Mission and demonstrates the real weight of importance the UK places on our future relationship with India as we look outwards following the referendum on membership of the European Union.

The TECH Summit is the flagship trade event in India this year, and provides a platform to showcase the very best in cutting-edge UK technologies while promoting the UK as India’s partner of choice for innovative solutions. This is where the brightest and best in business will be.

The Summit is India’s largest knowledge and technology conference taking place in New Delhi from 7 - 9 November 2016. A UK Government partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT) and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Summit will comprise a number of eye-catching events, installations, policy dialogues, panel discussions, workshops and organised B2B partnering.

The focus themes will cover Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering, Smart Cities, Healthcare, Life Sciences and Agri-Tech plus sub-summits on Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Design, Higher Education and Intellectual Property.

With expected senior ministerial attendance and representation from the most significant businesses in India and the UK, this is an opportunity to network, learn from, interact and sell to the figures shaping the commercial, educational and policy-defining landscape in India and the UK today.

For more information, including sessions, speakers and programme, please visit: www.ciitechknow.com.


Book now for The India-UK TECH Summit

Date:6 – 11 November 2016

Location:New Delhi, India




Registration and fees

Entry to the India-UK TECH Summit is free for UK delegates. To sign-up, please click on the book now tab above.

Applications will be vetted and places are limited (must be UK-based). Subject to approval, there is no fee but all accommodation, flights and insurance costs will be the responsibility of participants.

Find out more:

W: events.ukti.gov.uk/india-uk-tech-summit-2/event-day/india-uk-tech-summit---day-3/

E: UKIndiaTechSummit@

T: +44 (0) 20 7034 4848

Flying the Flag at Irish Ploughing Match

The British Livestock stand, organised in conjunction with the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG) and supported by the Export Department of AHDB Beef and Lamb was abuzz with interest throughout the 3 days of the 85th Irish National Ploughing Championships – ‘The Ploughing’ - held near Tullamore, about 60 miles due west of Dublin from 20th to 22nd September 2016.

 The whole site covered over 600 acres and included over 250 acres of competition ploughing involving the most modern reversibles to horses and vintage classes.  The attendance at this, the largest outdoor exhibitor and agricultural trade show in Europe, was in excess of 283,000 over the three days, with visitors being drawn from every corner of the island of Ireland in addition to strong international support. The event attracted over 1700 exhibitors covering all aspect of rural life.


The British Livestock stand, located in the middle of the livestock area, was supported with breed information from 25 beef and 9 sheep breeds in addition to the National Sheep Association, the British Pig Association and the Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB).  The very wide range of genetic information available prompted favourable comments on how interesting the stand was; one farmer expressing a view that it was the most informative stand on the whole show field! 

 At the opening of the event ,the stand tables were groaning with promotional material, however by lunchtime on the 3rd day very little was left!  The object of the exercise being to raise the profile of what quality livestock genetics are available from the UK, leading to subsequent export business of semen, embryos and pedigree livestock.  On closure of the event, approaching 60 ‘Requests for Information’ forms had been completed giving a strong indication of the interest there is in British livestock genetics and the high regard in which it is perceived.

The stand was facilitated, on behalf of AHDB – Beef and Lamb, by John Fleming of ‘JF Professional Genetic Services’, ably supported by Gill Evans, an experienced pedigree breeder of many years standing.

The 2017 event will take place between the 19th and 21st September 2017 at the same venue.

 John Fleming





Record breaking sale averages, a world record price, an increase in Limousin market share, dominance of the summer and winter shows, and major progress with the Society’s ten-year breed improvement programme.  These were the upbeat headlines from British Limousin Cattle Society Chairman John Phillips in his second annual report to members published within the Society’s 2015 BLCS Annual Report and Accounts. 

Looking at the year as a whole, and the early months of 2016 Mr Phillips commented upon the economic challenges, change, and speculation for agriculture, the beef industry, and the United Kingdom as a whole with the consequences of the historical Brexit vote and what that will mean for the United Kingdom’s farmers.

“From a beef production perspective it would seem obvious that with the industry moving in a market driven direction that the focus must be full-square on efficiency and profitability.  Cattle with the genetics that convert food efficiently, hit the ideal slaughter weights at the youngest possible age, and have repeatable, quality carcases consistently hitting the target grades, will be in demand and will find reward.”

“Through 2015 and into this year there has been a significant and long term industry move to sourcing cattle at 15-16 months of age and weighing 350-365kg.  This brings into focus medium sized cows producing fast growing calves that are finished at this age and hit the spec. Retailers, which account for 86% of fresh beef sales in the UK, have made clear the size of cattle that they want and will pay less for beef from heavier carcases. “

“This change in market focus is one that I think fits the Limousin breed extremely well as a suckler cow and producing first quality calves with top grades, good yield and high killing out percentages.  The dynamic is already evident and has been a principle factor in the strong Limousin performance at bull and female sales in the year,” said Mr Phillips.

Also highlighted is the ongoing work in the Limousin long range Breed Improvement Plan which was launched in 2014 and is noted as being the central part of the Society’s forward technical work.  In early 2016 Limousin genomic breeding values had been produced for a range of carcase traits in what was a beef industry first for the UK.  Work is also reported as ongoing in the DEFRA funded feed efficiency project, within which Limousin is the featured breed, and most recently the Society has embarked on a further maternal traits project which it is expected will yield new female fertility and calf survival GEBVs.  These three projects in size are £1.5 Million, £1.75 Million, and £200,000 respectively and the Chairman John Phillips states that he is “proud that the Society is in a position, and has had the vision, to take part in this far sighted work.  The ongoing aim is to future-proof the breed and provide producers with cattle that are profitable and adaptable to meet current and changing markets,” he says.

The report highlights that this work and investment is what differentiates the Limousin breed in the eyes of producers, processors and retailers and will continue to grow market share and increase returns for breeders.  At the close of 2015 the Limousin breed was again confirmed as the UK’s leading beef breed, for the twentieth consecutive year, and with an increased number of Limousin sired passports with BCMS in the year. 

In commending his 2015 report, John Phillips congratulated all BLCS members who had contributed to another very strong performance for both the breed and the Society and he listed some of the main breed highlights and achievements from the year.


•             Limousin confirmed as the largest numerical beef breed in the UK for the twentieth year in a row and since passport records began.  486,680 Limousin sired passports issued, an increase of 2,299 on the year.

•             Pedigree Limousin registrations surpassed the 19,000 mark for the sixth year in a row.

•             The four year Limousin Carcase Traits project was completed and rolled out.

•             Work commenced in the DEFRA-funded feed efficiency project with Limousin as the main breed.

•             Limousin breed win 14 interbreeds at the summer show ‘majors’ for the second year in a row.

•             Six of the seven ‘major’ winter primestock shows were won by Limousin sired cattle including the ‘Grand Slam’ of English, Scottish, Irish, and Welsh Winter Fairs.

•             UK all-breeds record average of £8,709 set at Carlisle up by £467 on the previous mark.

•             Trueman Jagger sold for a Limousin world record and all-breeds European & UK record price of 140,000gns (£147,000).


BLCS Honorary Treasurer Gary Swindlehurst reported that the core income areas of registrations, membership, and sales commission had been maintained at a very high level which was extremely pleasing in what he also described as ‘a challenging industry for pedigree and beef farmers.’

Commenting on the Society’s Breed Improvement Plan, Mr Swindlehurst said that £1 Million of investment had been ring fenced to achieve the ten breeding goals identified over a ten-year period.  “I reiterate that the long term aim of the Breed Improvement Plan is the development of high quality Limousin genetics to deliver significant increases in performance and profitability for pedigree and commercial beef farmers across the industry.

A summary of the main points of the 2015 financial year reported includes: 

Headline figures:

•             Total income for the period ended 31st December 2015 of £955,577.

•             Total expenditure was £861,882.

•             Income from birth registration fees levelled at £526,100. 

•             Sale commission for the year totalled £49,119.

•             The total net movement in funds on the year was £32,758

The Society’s investment portfolio is reported as continuing to perform well and in line with benchmark figures.  Within the report and accounts the level of funds carried forward in the year is shown as £2,704,616 which is up by £32,758. 

The 45th Annual General Meeting of the British Limousin Cattle Society was held on 15th September at the BLCS Offices, Concorde House, Leamington Spa.

Auckvale Bids 'Auf Wiedersehen' to Marquis & Marquess

WR Kemp & Sons have exported two Hereford bulls to Germany - Auckvale Marquis 1479M and Auckvale Marquess 1488L. They set off for Continental Europe on Sunday 21st August, after successfully completing various health requirements and associated paperwork.

They have been purchased by repeat customer Mr Giel Hermans from the region of Nimsreuland.

Auckvale Marquis 1479M (pictured) is an Auckvale Masterman 784E son and out of Auckvale Janet 917G whilst Auckvale Marquess 1488L is out Auckvale Peach 1173J and by Auckvale 157K Ribstone Lad 1131H.

Both 16-month-old bulls have a tremendous set of Performance Recorded Figures across the board, something which caught the eye of Mr Hermans. In particular, Marquis 1479M is in the Top 1% for Scrotal Size and has Terminal & Self Replacing Indexes in the Top 10% for the Hereford Breed.