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Welcome

Over the past few months you may well have seen our marketing and advertising campaigns which have been carried out in partnerships with QMS and HCC in response to the challenges coronavirus placed upon the industry.

There has been a noticeable uptake of steak consumption during our Make It Steak campaign period back in April. The results will be available soon. The Make It Lamb campaign followed soon after and was boosted by a successful Love Lamb Week. We are looking forward to reviewing and sharing with you the impact this has had on sales of lamb. Our attention over the coming months will be on the essential job of owning our reputation and ensuring people understand the positive and essential nature of what beef and lamb brings to a balanced diet, and the biodiversity and environment of the countryside.

As your statutory levy board, we are committed to helping the industry succeed in a rapidly changing world. We continue with our vison to help build a world-class food and farming industry by providing support, guidance and focusing on key priorities. Over the coming weeks, our partners at Qa Research will be contacting some of you as part of our annual satisfaction survey. Please do join in if you can – your feedback is really important to us.


Keep safe and best wishes,

Rebecca Miah

AHDB Beef & Lamb Strategy Director

 

Meet AHDB's Beef & Lamb Knowledge Exchange team

AHDB's Beef & Lamb Knowledge Exchange team is formed of dedicated individuals who each share a passion for helping the agriculture industry to develop

and improve its practices. Our Knowledge Exchange managers (KEMs) have specialist areas of expertise which they can bring to your farm business to help you in making the right decisions. So, whether you want help with your breeding plan, your grassland management or working out your costs of production, watch this video to find out how they can help. Watch now.

 

Britain’s sheep producers are being encouraged to fill out national breed survey

Sheep producers in Britain are being urged to fill in the national Sheep Breed Survey, which is out this week. Jointly funded by AHDB, QMS and HCC, the national Sheep Breed Survey is an important reference point for researchers, funders and policy makers. Read more

 

 

AHDB CEO to step down

After almost six years as CEO at the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), Jane King has decided that the next 12 months will be her last in the role. Now that the new five-year strategy and business plans are nearly complete and will be shortly out for consultation and the change programme underway, Jane feels that it is a good time to begin to hand the leadership baton over to someone fresh to deliver the next phase of AHDB’s development. Read more.

 

‘Meat: A Threat To Our Planet?’ pulled after BBC complaint upheld

AHDB has welcomed the decision by the BBC to pull its biased documentary Meat: A Threat to Our Planet following a wave of industry complaints and a formal complaint by the NFU to Ofcom.

The programme aired late last year and prompted a huge number of complaints about the negative picture it painted of livestock farming and its focus on global practices to a British audience. AHDB worked with the NFU and a number of other stakeholders to coordinate responses on the topic, culminating in the NFU submitting a formal complaint through its lawyers. Read more.
 

Preparation in place to support farmers through Brexit

With so much focus on the pandemic, it’s easy to forget Brexit is looming. The ninth and last planned trade talks ended earlier this month and although progress has

been made on several matters there is still no agreement on some big issues. The deadline to reach a trade agreement is Thursday 31 December this year, otherwise we’ll default to WTO (World Trade Organisation) rules. Our AHDB web pages have links to the latest government guidance, our resilience check-list, Brexit Impact Calculator, as well as other business planning tools. You can also read an update on post-Brexit trade deals from our MI team.
 

Markets and prices

Beef market update video

Beef market update: November 2020

AHDB livestock analyst Hannah Clarke looks at how the beef Agri Market Outlook has performed since it was published in July. Watch now.

Lamb market update video

Lamb market update: November 2020

How is the UK sheep market outlook shaping up? We take a close look at how our lamb Agri Market Outlook has performed against market developments since July. Watch now.

 

Industry news

The Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG) conference 2020

The Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG) conference is just three weeks away and has seen a fantastic response from industry since registrations opened on 1 October.

This year, the conference is being held online and is free to attend. With a theme of working together for world-leading health and welfare standards, there will be a focus on target areas for the sheep industry to ensure it is ready for the challenges ahead. The day will be made up of three sessions, focusing on ensuring responsible medicine use, priority areas for the sheep industry and an interactive session on the future vision for ruminant health and welfare. The SHAWG conference takes place on Tuesday 24 November. Tickets are FREE but must be purchased in advance. Register online here.

 

Chinese demand continues to beef up South American exports

Both Brazilian and Argentinian beef exports remain strong for the year to date. During the first nine months of 2020, Brazil exported 1.4 million tonnes of beef globally (fresh/frozen, offal and processed), an increase of 11% year-on-year. Read more.

Pandemic weighs on outlook for NZ sheep meat exports

Exports of NZ sheep meat are forecast to shrink in 2020/21, driven by uncertain global economic conditions and lower domestic production. According to the latest New Season Outlook by Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ), exports of lamb are forecast to fall 6.5% year-on-year, while mutton could see a 10% downturn in shipments. Read more.

Workshops showcase beef to a US audience


In October, we ran a series of ‘beef webinars’ as part of a hugely successful ‘virtual launch’, targeting key importers, influencers and members of the press in the US. 

The webinars included educational presentations about our cattle, butchery videos and a number of cookery demonstrations.

The aim was to inspire our American audience to use beef from the UK in their cooking and we gave advice on new cuts to the market.

These webinars were then followed by the delivery of meat boxes to key importers.

For more information about our export activities visit www.ahdb.org.uk/exports

Red meat and dairy showcased in China

Red meat and dairy products from the UK will take centre stage in China this month at one of Asia’s leading food and drink trade shows, FHC China, where more than 2,500 exhibitors from around the world will gather at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.

The three-day event has been the leading trade show for international companies looking to expand their business into the Chinese market – which is continuously evolving as both the country’s economy and its middle-class consumer base grows.

Read more.
 

EU-UK trade negotiations

The ninth and last round of formal EU-UK negotiations took place at the beginning of October. While progress had been made in a number of areas, the main sticking points remained unresolved. Therefore, the 15 October deadline initially set by PM Boris Johnson for a deal was missed. However, after a number of public statements from both sides that led many people to fear a no-trade-deal outcome was looming. Both sides have agreed to intensify negotiations, with talks now taking place daily – weekends included. Ideally, the deal should be agreed by early November to allow enough time to go through the process of ratification to enter into force on 1 January 2021, when the transition period ends.

With some two months to go before the end of the transition, AHDB has just launched a blog series called 'EU Exit Perspectives'. Take a read.

 

Take the plunge, not a shower!

The Sustainable Control of Parasites in Sheep (SCOPS) group has launched a campaign reminding sheep farmers, contractors and prescribers that organophosphate (OP) can only be used as a plunge dip. Lesley Stubbings of SCOPS says: “As we go into autumn and winter, the number of cases of sheep scab will increase. We must make sure that when OP is used, it is fully effective, and the only way to achieve that is with a plunge dip.” Read more.

 

Make straw go further this winter

The combination of reduced crop areas compared with recent years, lower yields and challenges with baling have put a downward pressure on straw productivity this year. To minimise wastage this winter, go back to basics and assess housing, as well as looking at alternatives. To help keep straw drier, you can use a coarser material to act as a drainage layer under straw bedding. In our recent podcast, Jamie Robertson from the University of Aberdeen suggests putting a layer of sand or woodchip down before bedding with straw to make it go further. Listen now or read more.

 

Feed into Beef research project

Feed into Beef is a collaborative research project funded by AHDB, working in partnership with CIEL, Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) and Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC). The five-year programme aims to deliver improved beef cattle feeding guidelines. There is strong evidence that current guidance under- or over-estimates nutritional requirements for different classes of beef cattle. These nutrient requirements have not been revised since the publication of an AFRC book in 1993. Since that time, the genetic base of the English cattle population has changed considerably, as have feeds commonly used by farmers. An update of these nutrition models is overdue and that is what the project aims to provide. Read more.

 

We are recruiting for a GrassCheckGB farmer

We are looking to bring on board one farm to fill an AHDB Beef & Lamb - funded place in this project, therefore we can only consider applications from beef and/or sheep enterprises located in England. Find out more.

 

Beef & Lamb homepage

Have you visited our Beef & Lamb web page recently? We have updated it with information on what support we have to offer our beef and lamb farmers. This includes our knowledge library, latest news and events, as well as contact details for your local Knowledge Exchange (KE) manager  if you can't find what you're looking for, please give them a call. Take a look  https://ahdb.org.uk/beef-lamb

 

Podcasts

How do I start up a direct - selling business?

In this episode, Amy Hughes, Knowledge Exchange Manager, finds out more about direct selling. She chats to beef farmer, Andy Rumming, who shares experiences of direct selling from his own business and gives advice on how to get started. She also talks to AHDB’s Senior Manager of Quality Schemes, Karl Pendlebury, who talks about his work with butchers and the supply chain, as well as giving advice on AHDB trade resources. Listen now.

 

Beef & Lamb webinars

Monday 9 November (7:30pm – 9:00pm)

Agronomy for Grazed Fodder Beet, Maximising Leaf and Root Yield. Book now.

Thursday 12 November (10:00am – 11:00am)

A changing consumer landscape: How have consumer attitudes towards red meat shifted during the coronavirus pandemic? Book now.

Thursday 12 November (12:00pm – 1:30pm)

Change is coming - What does it mean for you and your business? AHDB specialists discuss the latest agricultural outlook as the UK reaches the verge of leaving the EU. Book now.

Thursday 19 November (7:00pm – 8:00pm)

Using EID to drive farm performance. Suitable for beef and sheep farmers who are looking to use EID in the future or want to get more from their current system. Book now.

Tuesday 24 November (9:00am – 4:00pm)

The Sheep Health and Welfare Group (SHAWG) conference 2020. Book now.

Wednesday 25 November (10:00am – 11:30am)

EU exit and the red meat trade: a view from Europe. Book now.

Tuesday 1 December (7:00pm - 8:00pm)


Herbal leys panel discussion 3: Considerations beyond the price tag

Book now.


​​​​​​​Skills and business webinars

Monday 9 November (7:00pm – 8:00pm)

People planning: a strategy for success. Join topic specialist Rachael Madeley Davies for this business-focused webinar to discuss what people strategy is and how it can be used effectively. Book now.