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Sainsbury's to Guarantee Market for Veal

13 August 2009
National Farmers Union

UK - Sainsbury's has said it will guarantee a market for dairy bull calves for members of its Dairy Development Group, turning a by-product of the industry into an integral part of the food chain.

The agreement between members of the SDDG, Anglo Beef Processors and Farmright is on a voluntary basis and will operate nationwide, reports the National Farmers Union.

The deal ensures an extra source of income to dairy farmers and a consistent supply of bull calves to ABP, helping reduce the seasonality of the beef supply chain.

It includes a guaranteed price to be reviewed each quarter (details here). Farmers can sell calves up to 100 days old and the scheme includes options for TB restricted herds.

The agreement is overseen by the supermarket's contracted vets and - because calves are retained in their milk fields - travelling times and animal movements are significantly reduced. On-farm collection is available or calves can be moved through Defra approved collection centres under license and veterinary supervision.

Annie Graham, Sainsbury's head of brand sustainability, agriculture and health, said: "We aim to provide an alternative and viable option for our members to market dairy bull calves that would normally not be reared for beef. It also ties in with our decision to stop selling Dutch veal and to meet demand through producing British veal from dairy bull calves sourced through the SDDG."

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