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Latest News: Global Organic Dairy Market Report 2019

Family duo awarded OMSCo Farm of the Year 2018

Brother and sister farming partners Daniel and Claire Howlett of Wicton Farm, Herefordshire, have been awarded OMSCo’s Farm of the Year at their annual OMSCo Together event. Having supplied OMSCo for 18 years, the judges commended the family’s innovative approach and determination to establish a sustainable business that could accurately accommodate all the business partner requirements.

Family duo awarded OMSCo Farm of the Year 2018

Brother and sister farming partners Daniel and Claire Howlett of Wicton Farm, Herefordshire, have been awarded OMSCo’s Farm of the Year at their annual OMSCo Together event.

Having supplied OMSCo for 18 years, the judges commended the family’s innovative approach and determination to establish a sustainable business that could accurately accommodate all the business partner requirements.

OMSCo board member and competition judge Miles Saunders, explains that the panel were thoroughly impressed with the Howlett’s attention to detail, organisation and communication.

“Claire and Daniel have an exceptional eye for detail and have built a profitable and successful business around this, scrutinising every component to allow for continual improvement,” says Miles.

Farming 280 acres near Bromyard in Herefordshire, the farm currently milks 110 cows on an autumn block calving system, producing 8,500 litres/cow annually. “Milk from forage is currently 3,846 litres/cow and margin over purchased feed sits at £2,516/cow, which is up there with some of the top performing farms,” adds Miles.

However, what really impressed the judges, Miles, Nigel Davies from Promar and Mike Green, editor of British Dairying, was the constant determination to improve and be the absolute best they can be.

The pair implement their day to day management decisions based on a detailed blood and urine sampling procedure. A cow’s urine PH is tested seven days after moving onto the dry cow ration with bloods taken five days after calving and 35 days thereafter to check that the fresh cow diet is up to scratch to avoid metabolic issues.

“It’s great to see such a proactive approach to diet management and cow health, which allows the business to identify potential problems and address them quickly,” says Miles.

He adds that careful planning, targeted investment and meticulous routines have allowed the Howlett’s to improve performance and efficiency.

“Simple innovations such as viewing platforms for heat detection to improve conception rates, and a well-designed calving pen, that’s washed down between each use to reduce disease risk, were evident throughout the business.”

Features such as these are helping to fine-tune the business and create a high level of performance within a very simple, easy to manage system. “The farm has been designed with an impressive level of standard operating procedures so that it can be run single-handedly at the weekend, allowing Claire and Daniel to strike an important work-life balance,” explains Miles.

“The Howlett’s have worked hard to develop a system that’s sustainable and profitable for the family. They have a true passion for organic dairying and are leading the way through innovative practices. As a result, they’re very worthy winners of this national title.”

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Issued by:

Hannah Rose, Pinstone Communications T: 01568 617664 E: h.rose@pinstone.co.uk

 

Notes to editors:

 

The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) was formed in 1994 by a group of dairy farmers with a shared belief that there was a ‘better way to farm’. Now, nearly twenty-five years old, the passion and belief of those original members has inspired others; OMSCo has transformed its member base, customer base and market reach.

It is now the largest UK organic dairy cooperative and the second largest dedicated organic milk pool in the world. It is the longest established organic dairy cooperative in the UK, with an annual turnover of £100m and remains the only national 100% organic farmer-owned and farmer-run British dairy cooperative in the UK with 270 members.

OMSCo supplies the majority of the UK’s organic dairy processing needs and is the leading dairy exporter of organic raw milk, bulk ingredients, specialist ingredients and consumer products. OMSCo has also established itself as the only UK supplier of organic whey.

To spread risk OMSCo has created diverse and geographical spread markets, and as part of this strategy they were the first European dairy company under the EU-US Equivalency Agreement, to sell USDA certified organic dairy products in the US.

Effective trading partnerships are a cornerstone of OMSCo’s growth strategy and in 2013 OMSCo partnered with US organic giant Organic Valley, the world’s largest dedicated organic milk pool and $1bn brand at retail, to drive its US export business. In 2015 OMSCo and Organic Valley agreed a mutual financial stake in each other’s cooperatives, cementing a long-term alliance.

In 2017 OMSCo announced a second global strategic supply alliance with Europe’s third largest dedicated milk pool, Eko Holland.

A new joint venture with Somerset based cheddar maker Wyke Farms was also announced in 2017, operating under a joint business identity, The British Organic Dairy Company, the collaboration combines organic dairy excellence from OMSCo, with award winning standards from the most sustainable cheese maker in the world.

Read more about OMSCo here: http://www.omsco.co.uk/ and follow us on Twitter for our latest updates: https://twitter.com/omsco

OMSCo’s photographs can be accessed here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ncm4tpzoc37kv28/AAAOvZWvySMVqck9BwTRgG6ga?dl=0



Export innovation vital to secure global trading platform

With a £20bn trade deficit, the opportunity and scope for the UK to improve its global sales of food and drink has never been greater. Yet a reliance on commodity trading will not be enough to turn around these fortunes and therefore organisations need to turn their focus to added value exports. “The UK needs to prioritise agricultural and food exports,” explains OMSCo’s chairman Nicholas Saphir. “Our counterparts on the continent have remarkable export trade figures and we need to look at their successes and replicate them if we’re to defend farm gate returns post Brexit,” says Nicholas.

Export innovation vital to secure global trading platform

With a £20bn trade deficit, the opportunity and scope for the UK to improve its global sales of food and drink has never been greater. Yet a reliance on commodity trading will not be enough to turn around these fortunes and therefore organisations need to turn their focus to added value exports.

“The UK needs to prioritise agricultural and food exports,” explains OMSCo’s chairman Nicholas Saphir. “Our counterparts on the continent have remarkable export trade figures and we need to look at their successes and replicate them if we’re to defend farm gate returns post Brexit,” says Nicholas.

This is just one of the reasons OMSCo has taken the lead to sponsor the ‘export in innovation’ Cream Award for the third year running.

“We’re committed to championing UK exports, encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship across the industry,” says Nicholas.

He adds that UK food and drink exports sit near £10 billion when whiskey is excluded, which is miles apart from the likes of Holland, which attributes 94 billion euros to food and drink exports.

“To add concern, we know that Brexit will bring about changes in farm support payments post 2024 and many of our farm returns are already below that of our major competitors. We need to widen our markets and the demand for our outputs to be in with a chance of remaining competitive.

“It’s this horizon that’s driving our rationale for the UK to showcase export innovation and is motivating OMSCo to do all we can to encourage a step-change in the approach to agricultural exports,” says Nicholas.

“It’s imperative that organisations don’t just seek to export but also add value through innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Through the development of our antibiotic and GM free organic cheddar cheese, produced specifically for the USA, UHT milk for China and infant formula for Australasia, we know that it’s possible to take a commodity and create added value markets,” says Nicholas.

“Organic, GM free produce has tremendous opportunity throughout the world, especially as the global spotlight on the nutritional value of food continues to intensify.”

But the opportunities are not limited to the organic market adds Nicholas. “We’ve also seen examples of considerable innovation in other food exports, as well as people developing new markets.”

Nicholas says that one of the keys to the cooperative’s successful venture into exports has been the development of long-term supply chain partnerships, such as the relationships built with Organic Valley, the US’s largest organic cooperative, and the recent joint venture announced with Wyke Farms.

“The enthusiasm and support for export innovation is out there. AHDB, Defra and the Department of International Trade are all showing enormous support and I would encourage organisations across the industry to capitalise on the moment and make their move into exports to spread risk and ensure UK farming remains competitive on a global scale” says Nicholas



Co-operatives UK annual economy report

The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) was established in 1994 by five innovative farmers, who believed that there was simply a better way to farm. Now nearly 25 years old, OMSCo is the only national, 100% dedicated organic farmer-run and farmer-owned cooperative in the UK, with 270 members from Cornwall to Inverness. OMSCo is the largest organic dairy cooperative in the UK, managing two-thirds of the organic milk supply. OMSCo is also the second largest dedicated organic milk pool in the world, with an annual turnover approaching £100m.

Co-operatives UK annual economy report

OMSCo case study

The Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative (OMSCo) was established in 1994 by five innovative farmers, who believed that there was simply a better way to farm.

Now nearly 25 years old, OMSCo is the only national, 100% dedicated organic farmer-run and farmer-owned cooperative in the UK, with 270 members from Cornwall to Inverness.

OMSCo is the largest organic dairy cooperative in the UK, managing two-thirds of the organic milk supply. OMSCo is also the second largest dedicated organic milk pool in the world, with an annual turnover approaching £100m.

“Becoming an OMSCo member was an easy decision for us,” explains Graham Vallis, board member, and organic farmer managing 200 cows on his family farm on the outskirts of Exeter, Devon.

“We had a young family to provide for and therefore sought a milk partner that could provide ongoing support and certainty,” he says. “OMSCo’s dedication to the organic dairy sector was clear from the beginning and gave us the confidence we needed to develop our farm business.”

The Somerset-based cooperative’s innovative approach to spreading risk, has allowed them to capitalise on the growing organic dairy market, which is worth $9.5bn globally.

“OMSCo has developed a variety of added value and specialist organic dairy products for international markets, including premium organic cheeses and infant formula ingredients,” says Graham. “These opportunities are fantastic for the members, as being a part of a cooperative means that we all share the benefits.

“The more money that the cooperative makes, the greater the return to its farmers and this provides us with greater certainty for the future.

“Being a member that’s on the board, I also see first-hand the practical input that our members have into the decision-making process, which then facilitates the implementation of these new initiatives.”

Long-term relationships built with leading global manufacturing and distribution businesses has led to exports growing by 58% to approximately 20% of total revenue in 2017 - a figure which the cooperative aspires to grow in the years to come.

“OMSCo’s achievements have been underpinned by shared values that champion British organic dairying. I look forward to us continuing to work together as a cooperative finding new and innovative ways to secure our future success.”



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