Off the Shelf Environmental Packages for Discussion Groups

UK - The Milk Development Council are inviting tenders for a new project to develop support materials for use by dairy farmers participating in dairy business clubs tackling environmental topics.
calendar icon 23 October 2006
clock icon 6 minute read

The Milk Development Council wishes to extend the focus of its successful Dairy Business Clubs, led by Extension Officers and other group facilitators in 8 regions around GB, to include topics arising from the increasing demands of environmental regulations.

There are a range of environmental issues that are common to dairy farmers across GB and these can be addressed within the Business Club structure. Use of informative literature, worksheets, slide presentations and case studies material will help to ensure that participants get the most value from a 2-3hour session. Although discussion groups will possibly involve local expertise, the material needs to be usable by group facilitators (possibly having only a general knowledge of the subject) in an interactive and practical session. As delivery will be in England, Scotland and Wales, the packages must be applicable to all and therefore highlight and address any differences that may apply.

With this in mind, the Milk Development Council is inviting tenders to identify environmental topics that are relevant to current legislation and to include provision for regulatory changes still on the horizon. The discussion material should clearly focus on how the GB dairy farmer can remain profitable while meeting the requirements of environmental regulations including, for example, the requirements associated with the reform of CAP, Nitrate Vulnerable Zones Water Framework Directive etc.

The MDC Council believes that this important discussion material will help producers meet these demands efficiently by providing the detail required to meet current and future environmental legislation related to soil, water and air quality, landscape and biodiversity.

To identify a range of environmental issues relevant to dairy farming in the UK and to select 5 that present the greatest challenge for implementation on a typical dairy farm. Interactive, practical guidance and presentational material should be generated for each of these topics, for use by group facilitators who are skilled in dairy farming but are not environmental experts. Material should present options for
implementation of practice that allows production to stay profitable while meeting the regulations.

• To identify environmental issues relevant to UK dairy farmers and to present an argued case for the selection of 5 of these that present the farmer with the greatest challenge for profitable implementation.
• To design a format for a 2-3 hour interactive discussion group on each topic that allows the environmental challenge to be understood, reviews options for its management including implementation costs and benefits accruing from improved efficiency, presents examples from case studies and makes recommendations for practical measures for its implementation on farm
• Importantly background detail as to why the requirements are being imposed on dairy farming is an essential component of these developments
• To generate a range of written, visual and electronic teaching and discussion material to support the facilitator and the participants in the discussion, including
 o briefings on the environmental legislation
 o fact sheets on how it applies to dairy farming
 o interactive material for use in break-out groups
 o examples of farms where the issue has been identified, managed, and the outcome on profitability measured
 o practical ‘how-to-do-it’ materials that will allow farmers to put the guidance into practice
• It is important for the applicant to understand that many of these groups will be meeting ‘on farm’ and which therefore may pose some limitations on suitable communication mechanisms. The on farm meeting may also be seen as a valuable resource?

The Tender
The MDC is willing to consider a tender submission for this project from organisations with suitable expertise and experience. If you feel that your proposal would be enhanced by collaboration with other key organisations, the MDC would be pleased to consider this on the basis of clear identification of the specialist skills/knowledge each collaborator would bring to the success of the project should you be successful.

It is expected that the project will be completed within 5 months of the agreement to proceed.
The research contract will be on a fixed term, fixed price basis with the assignment of all rights regarding the final report and discussion support material to the MDC.

The MDC will review tenders following the closing date and may consult with interested parties as part of the selection process. The MDC reserves the right to seek alteration of individual tenders to meet the exact requirements and to decline all tenders should the requirements not be met.

Following the presentation of initial concepts, the MDC may seek further clarification
of capabilities and methodologies to be used by individual groups prior to a definitive

Should you wish to submit a proposal, this should be done in writing to the Research Manager, Milk Development Council, Trent Lodge, Stroud Road, Cirencester, Gloucestershire GL7 6JN, providing the following details:
1. Project title
2. Name of project leader
3. Organisation/s and their expertise
4. Address
5. Project summary (maximum 250 words)
6. Project duration
7. Project aim
8. Project objectives
9. Suggested methodology for delivery of the project
10. Key targets and date of achievements (milestones)
11. Proposed budget (to include breakdown of staffing, consumables, travel, equipment, overheads, sub-contractors or consultancy, and miscellaneous costs)
12. Project staffing – please list the names and job titles of all staff that will be involved with the project detailing what aspect of the project they will have responsibility for.
Any questions related to this tender should be directed to Charlotte Bullock, [email protected]

Guidance on Proposal Formulation
The successful proposal will represent good value for money, which is not necessarily the same thing as cheapness. It will be a thoroughly researched methodology which has appreciated all the possibilities that an important project of this nature could pursue.

Should you feel that MDC has omitted some aspect of this study limiting its value to the dairy farmer, please feel free to include it in the tender document. The MDC selection panel will decide whether the additional detail adds real value to the project before deciding on its inclusion.

Please note that the successful applicant will be required to submit all the agreed outputs of this project by the agreed completion date. The successful applicant will also be required to make regular reports and work closely with the MDC Project Manager to ensure every possible opportunity, where appropriate and feasible, is capitalised on.

Closing date
Three hard copies and one electronic (send to [email protected]) copy of tender submissions must arrive at the MDC office at Cirencester no later than 12 noon on Wednesday November 8, 2006. Faxed submissions will not be accepted.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all submissions are at the MDC office by the due date and time. Failure to submit all copies by the due date and time will result in the automatic rejection of the submission. Short listed applicants may be requested to present their case to the selection panel at Cirencester on Monday 27 November 2006, though this will be decided on reviewing the applications.

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