Asda and processor ABP have claimed the BeefLink producer group scheme is celebrating five years of success in an ever-turbulent red meat market. The scheme runs across the UK and was set up to focus on improving producer returns as well as the quality of beef available to Asda shoppers.
While speaking at an event celebrating the anniversary, Asda senior red meat trader Jim Viggars said: “We’ve achieved this by forming closer working relationships with our supplier farmers and rewarding them more for producing the type of top-quality beef we need week in, week out.
“When BeefLink was formed, farmgate beef prices were hovering around the 200p/kg mark and producers were struggling to make decent margins in beef production. At Asda we recognised we had to change things if we were to have British beef to supply our stores. We set about putting in place a range of measures aimed at helping farmers maximise both quality and returns.”
According to Viggars, such a scheme was not the normal route for retailers and said Asda wanted to “break the mould” and get closer to its farmers.
The celebration was also an opportunity for Asda to reward a number of its BeefLink producers and several awards were given to producers for “delivering exceptional consistency”.
ABP’s Asda agricultural manager Elwyn Pugh said: “These winners are the pinnacle of our supply base, but the real winners today are all the BeefLink farmers who have been supplying top quality beef for the last five years. They’ve helped us deliver great beef to Asda shoppers. But, more importantly, they’ve helped deliver a sustainable, profitable future for both their own businesses and the wider UK beef industry.”
Loyalty, exceptional consistency and working in collaboration with ABP and Asda:
- G K Robertson, Forfar.
- Robert Trimble, Northern Ireland.
- Les Morgan, Leominster.
- Maurice Hymas, Harrogate.
Long Service Award for continuous supply of beef to Asda through ABP:
- James Davies, Condove.
Ongoing Support for Asda:
- Adrian Ivory, Perth
Awards were also given to Asda/ABP BeefLink demonstration farmer Mike Powley of York for delivering improved productivity through uptake of new technologies. Warwickshire farmer Adam Quinney also picked up an award for his work in driving forward the first BeefLink Progeny Testing Unit.