Quality Meat Scotland searches for organic farm

Quality Meat Scotland is searching for a new Scottish organic monitor farm as part of a project with the Scottish Organic Producers’ Association.

The two bodies are seeking nominations for mixed livestock and cereal organic farms located in the East of Scotland, including Aberdeenshire, Tayside and Perthshire as well as central, south-east Scotland and the Borders.

The new farm will replace Balanloan Home Farm on Atholl Estates, Perthshire, which recently reached the end of its three-year participation in the monitor farm programme. It will also be supported by the Scottish Government Skills Development Scheme with sponsorship from Norvite Animal Nutrition.

The aim of the project is, by discussion and demonstration on the organic monitor farm, to emphasise the benefits of baseline monitoring and benchmarking the business.

That information is then used to improve the profitability of the monitor farm and other organic farm businesses. The information gained from the individual farm will also be used by the facilitator to provide information on farm business management to a wider Scottish audience.

Peter Beattie, QMS technical projects manager, said: "The main objectives of the monitor farm are to bring local farmers and the agricultural industry together to focus on farm business improvements, efficient production and better profits from the various farm enterprises.

"An organic monitor farm is a three-year commitment for a farmer, supported by a facilitator, and a community group of engaged, local farmers.

"The farmer works with the facilitator to study the financial and performance figures of the business and find out what the long-term aims of the farm are. Some of this information is then shared and discussed at monitor farm meetings, held every two months or so."

Facilitators are also being sought for the new organic monitor farm, with facilitator applications closing on 30 July 2010. The final date for monitor farm application submissions is Friday, 20 August 2010.

Further information on the monitor farm programme is available by visiting www.qmscotland.co.uk

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