AHDB leads bid to establish livestock centre of excellence

The food and livestock industries have backed the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board's (AHDB) bid for a Centre of Excellence in Livestock (CIEL).

AHDB and its pig levy board Bpex reported that more than 80 companies and 30 industry bodies have “thrown their weight behind the bid”.

CIEL, explained AHDB, is a unique co-operative venture, bringing together: multinational and small companies in the animal breeding, animal health, feed and nutrition and technology sectors; major UK companies involved in the production, processing and marketing of livestock-derived products; UK levy boards and umbrella organisations working on behalf of livestock producers and some processors; 12 leading research providers from across the UK, including all the devolved administrations, in the animal sciences, veterinary medicine, animal health, consumer safety and product quality sectors and UK-leading veterinary service companies, veterinary schools and a network of R&D focused commercial farms for research trials and demonstration of techniques.

Industry representatives are set to meet at research institute Fera in York next month to refine the proposal. AHDB said the meeting aimed to attract leading industry figures to take an “active” role in developing the CIEL.

The overall industry-led submission is for a £34m investment in the UK livestock research and development sector and to establish a single UK-wide Centre.  

AHDB/Bpex head of technical Andrew Knowles, who has co-ordinated the bid, said: “The bid is now at the stage where the industry needs to take ownership to develop the CIEL. It is important for as many backers as possible to attend the meeting at Fera.

“This is a unique opportunity for the livestock industry to put itself at the front of global research and development.

“The timescale has been short, but the support we have received from across the livestock industry has been fantastic. Everybody is committed to making this bid a success to take the industry into an exciting future.”

If you would like to attend the Fera meeting, contact Clancey Smith at Bpex on Clancy.Smith@ahdb.org.uk or call 0247 647 8792.

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