The ABP Food Group has followed Kepak in launching an integrated supply programme for its cattle suppliers.

The “Advantage Beef Programme” will pay farmers a bonus of 20c/kg if certain conditions are met.

This bonus will be paid on top of the Quality Assurance in-spec and breed bonuses.

The scheme is open to suckler and dairy-bred cattle, with Jersey cattle excluded. A farmer must slaughter a minimum of 20 cattle annually to join the scheme.

Age limits apply, with the maximum age for suckler-bred heifers being 26 months, while the maximum age for dairy-bred beef heifers is 24 months. A limit of 10% of young bulls will apply for farmers and the bonus will be paid on all cattle grading P+ or better. Cattle must be quality assured and have a maximum of two residencies.

One of the most contentious issues with the programme is the fact that animals need to be 12 months in the finishing herd before slaughter. This rules out many farmers who run store to finish enterprises.