Doreen Forsyth catches up with Adam Buitelaar on health and welfare. This article is published by British Dairying
The Buitelaar Group was established in 1922 in the Netherlands, and focus on producing British beef to the highest health and welfare protocols. These protocols are observed at every stage of production from rearing dairy bull calves to finishing young beef cattle, so it comes as no surprise that the Group is sponsoring this year’s Health and Welfare Awards.
Adam Buitelaar is the fifth generation of the family to be involved in the industry. He has been fortunate to work in four different countries in both the meat and livestock sectors, which has given him both a diverse knowledge and vast experience of the total supply chain.
In 2009 Adam identified an issue that there were many dairy male calves being put down, due to the lack of markets and inefficient farming methods.
.Adam felt that this was damaging the local community, was also a really worrying welfare issue, and where was social responsibility in the face of global food shortages?
“Apart from being an animal welfare disgrace, this seemed to be such a waste, so we devised a sustainable model to produce with great consistency and eating quality from these calves. So, we decided to “dip our toes” into the water by fattening and selling the meat of 35 young male calves per week and this side of the business has grown rapidly” says Adam.
The Buitelaar Group now have an integrated supply chain which allows the product to be monitored at every stage and are now processing 40,000 head of beef and dairy calves per annum through five collection centres.
His products boast excellent traceability, are 100% British and are all Red Tractor Farm Assured.
Adam’s belief in the product has paid off as, in a recent competition organised by EBLEX to find “England’s Best Sirloin Steak”, a blind taste test revealed that a Buitelaar steak produced from a dairy bull, scored top marks across the board, including taste, tenderness, marbling and juiciness, as well as a chemical analysis of the product. The Buitelaar entry was in direct competition against traditional breeds such as Aberdeen Angus and Hereford. The Team won the Supply Chain Initiative at Meat and Poultry Processing award this year, and “swept the board” at the 2017 Food Management Awards.
And, all this from a product that was until recently only considered worthy of animal food or cheap burgers! Top chefs and restaurant critics are beginning to see the quality and value of dairy beef. Giles Coren, The Times restaurant critic recently described a dairy beef steak as “a steak the way I always wanted steak to be without ever having been able to put my finger on what I wanted.”
Buitelaar now has five calf collection centres throughout the UK where dairy farmers can market their calves each week. A profile is built up on each calf supplier and this ensures that our future fattener has a uniformity of supply and a higher health status.
The Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester is currently engaged in a research project with Buitelaar and Synergy Farm Health, with the first batch of 50 healthy calves being reared with zero mortality rates. New research proposals including reducing the use of antibiotics, a current demand by the meat industry.
Adam firmly believes that everyone in the supply chain must have a margin, and that this can be achieved through efficiencies throughout the supply chain and of the curving volatility of the finished beef market.
“Our unique supply chain concept guarantees our suppliers and customers continuous sustainable growth” Adam explains.
“I’m really looking forward to meeting the finalists in the Health and Welfare Category at the Cream Awards.”
Either click on the links or search Buitelaar Group!
The Royal Agricultural University has reared its fist batch of 50 healthy calves, with a zero mortality rate.
The initial batch were run as a trial at the farm in order to understand calf rearing, however the partnership are now looking at new research for the next batch of 80 calves due to arrive in mid-April. New research proposals include reducing antibiotics, a current demand by the meat industry.
For more information please click here
The Buitelaar team won Supply Chain of the year at the Meat and Poultry Processing Awards 2017.
Adam Buitelaar was delighted to collect the accolade and said, ‘this award is an excellent achievement and a recognition of the hard work that goes in across the whole of the supply chain, without our hard working suppliers, rearers, customers and office team this would not of been possible’.
Ten Buitelaar calf rearers visited the Netherlands this week to understand how the Dutch are making improvements in reducing antimicrobials across the supply chain.
Renier Pluim who hosted the day explained how his team studied their every day practices and securitized the basic practices to ensure good calf health.
‘Stop the calf getting sick then you won’t need to treat it’
This is looked at through a step change approach to best practices.
Housing on the dairy farm
Through simple but practical steps the Dutch are making a difference, also the use of natural products are helping reduce antibiotics.
Prevention is better than cure: preventing calves from getting sick is much more cost effective rather than trying to cure illnesses. This can be assisted with adequate housing and understanding what is required. A constant comfortable temperature and a regular feed plan seems to be the general opinion in Holland. In a country with a climate not dissimilar to the UK, our Dutch counterparts are feeding over 1.6 million B&W male calves so they are always a reliable source of information with a futuristic edge.
‘A healthy calf is a profitable calf’ was the message: a healthy calf will have a stronger weight gain ratio, require fewer antibiotics and this all makes for a better days farming.
The teams visit finished with a trip to Tentago to look at the state of the art research facility which analyses calf nutrition and feeding. Tentago is a world leader in calf milk replacer production and also is the home of the Buitelaar Tentomilk. The Buitelaar enjoyed the day and had many questions around the potential of weight gains, rearing techniques and the results from milk trials that take place on the 1,800 calves Tentago house.
For the third consecutive year Buitelaar have been nominated as finalists at the Food Management Awards for best red meat product.
The award is a fantastic external endorsement and the repetition of the nomination is a great reflection of the products true consistency.
For the latest news on how the calves are settling in at Cirencester RAU click here
Emily Edwards, Project Manager was joined at Harnhill by Masters Students Tim Baber and Dale Webb as well as Farm’s Manager Tony Norris in order to complete the first day of tasks.
The team of RAU representatives were assisted by Jordan Mikicionek from Dairy Excellence who provided professional support with milk machine set up and calf training.
Please watch this space for further progress!
The Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester has received its first batch of calves from the Buitelaar collection centre. This is the initiation on a new exciting partnership between the parties. Please CLICK HERE for more information.
For the latest on all news on this project please watch this space.
The bi-annual Buitelaar conference was held at the Staffordshire Show Ground, where over 250 suppliers and customers attended what was deemed a ‘fantastic event’.
The conference highlights the vision and the development going on through out the supply chain. This years event had an arrangement of internal and external speakers which include the following:
Opening Address: Adam Buitelaar
Where are we now? Terry Coupe, Head of Integration, Buitelaar Production Ltd
Fresh Thinking for responsible calf health management: Alan King, Commercial Director, Synergy Farm Health
Blueprint for calf rearing in the UK– The Buitelaar RAU Partnership: Emily Edwards, Livestock Research Commercialisation Manager, Royal Agricultural College.
Design for Purpose: Jamie Robertson, Honorary Research Fellow, Aberdeen University
Global innovation in dairy beef supply chains– The Nuffield experience: Joe Burke, Beef Sector Manager with Bord Bia / Irish Food Board
What next for exports?: Debbie Butcher, Senior Market Analyst, AHDB
The transformational potential of big data: James Sherwood-Rogers, Managing Director, Map of Agriculture
What are McDonalds? Peter Garbutt, Agriculture consultant for McDonalds UK
Scotland’s leading Michelin-star chef Andrew Fairlie—whose Gleneagles culinary fiefdom is officially ‘Scotland’s Best Restaurant’. Fairlie has just added to his menu the delicious rose veal sourced by our Rick Stein ‘Food Heroes’ and customer of Buitelaar, Rachel and Jeannie at Alternative Meats in Shropshire. He serves it at his double-Michelin-star Andrew Fairlie Restaurant at Gleneagles with morels and onion confit—and the result is indescribably delicious.
Even among chefs, Andrew Fairlie is renowned as one of the most particular over the quality—and lifestyle—of his meat. The high-welfare British rose veal which he serves via the experts at Alternative Meats is from calves raised on both sides of the Welsh border, living and eating well, and reaching some 150 kilos. It is important to raise these bull calves as rose veal—otherwise they are shot at birth, or exported and raised as ‘white veal’ in conditions rightly outlawed here. The resulting British rose veal from Alternative Meats is beautifully pink meat with white fat covering. Few butchers sell veal—so here is our service not only to veal-lovers, dairy farmers and the calves themselves, but to all steak-lovers and gourmets too—if you love beef but have never tried good rose veal, you are in for a treat, as served in the hallowed halls of Gleneagles!
This article was sourced via Country Club UK.
Martin Ricker, editor of the International Leather Maker magazine was invited by David Doherty, to Elms Farm to discuss growing importance of traceability in leather, to read more on this please click here. Buitelaar are comitted to adding value to the supply chain where possible!
Please note this article was written for the purposes of the International Leather Maker.
Buitelaar have recently opened their fourth calf collection centre in Shap, Cumbria. This exciting news comes off the back of the the recent successes at Garstang, Frome and Wrexham. Please see this link for the whole article click here!
For the second consecutive year Buitelaar’s Select British beef has received ‘Highly Commended’ at the Meat Management Awards. This year Buitelaar entered the Select Rump into the highly competitive awards. This was an excellent result and further showcases strengths of the Buitelaar integrated supply chain and highlights the consistency in quality of product produced. Last year was the first year the team entered the competition and received Highly Commended for the Select Sirloin steak, in 2016 the team entered the competition again with the Select rump steak and again achieved a Highly Commended award.
All products were tested on the basis of a raw and cooked format, the competition had an incredibly strong field of entrants which included renowned, established retailers and suppliers.
For more information please click on the following link Meat Management Awards
The UK’s beef industry is ever changing with customers becoming more selective when deciding which protein items to buy. We at Buitelaar have noticed the importance of traceability, provenance, sustainability and of course eating quality. We recently noticed an article by Mr Mallon and Simon Marsh, beef cattle specialists at Harper Adams who outlines a few key benefits of young beef.
1. Lower eating quality
There is a wealth of evidence to support the rearing of young bulls, says Mr Marsh.
“In fact, a recent study with Stabiliser bulls slaughtered at 14 months showed improved meat tenderness compared with extensively reared steers.”
2. The environment will suffer
Not only is the entire male calf more efficient, but bull beef production systems, especially from the suckler herd, have the lowest carbon footprint and therefore the smallest effect on the environment, says Mr Marsh.
“Bull beef from suckler-bred calves can efficiently produce a 350-400kg carcass at under 14 months old.”
3. Beef farmers will be forced to reduce output
Last year, 20.1% of male calves were reared as bulls, so the decision taken by some abattoirs to stop procuring young beef will potentially affect a lot of beef producers.
If producers have to adopt extensive production systems this will reduce output, says Mr Marsh.
4. Suckler herds will decline further
If farmers are forced to become more extensive (by keeping cattle for longer), cow numbers will have to decline along with slaughter numbers.
“If Tesco as a retailer and its processors do not use young beef bulls, it could potentially kill off 50% of the suckler herd. There is no remaining efficient way for these cattle to be finished,” explains Mr Mallon.
5. It will lead to an increase in beef prices
Fewer cattle will mean less beef. Ultimately, this will result in a rise in beef prices that the British public will not appreciate, adds Mr Mallon.
The interesting points were included in the following article sourced from the Farmers Weekly Young Beef Advantages.
Some interesting facts which all contribute to meat quality!
Carcass Quality / On Farm Best Practice
- Good practice key – Injecting in neck areas rather than rump which holds more value, injection areas are susceptible to abscesses which must be removed from the food chain. 6% of cattle in the UK had abscesses which require additional work trimming resulting in meat yield loss.
- 16% of cattle livers were rejected in 2015 due to liver fluke, liver fluke infected livers are binned as they are not fit for human consumption. Liver fluke not only has directly affects returns on offal sales for abattoirs it also has a direct effect on the animals daily live weight gain which makes the animal more cost inefficient on farm.
- Carcass value can be reduced by pneumonia and pleurisy, it is important to keep on top of animal husbandry to ensure health issues do not impact on health and feed efficiency.
- Clean cattle sent to slaughter have a dramatic measured reduction in micro-organisms which exist in the hide, cleaner cattle reduce the transfer of contamination onto the carcass.
- Of the three attributes to determine eating quality, texture, juiciness and flavour, tenderness is arguably the most important.
- Important Facts Tenderness:
- Age is key to tenderness, because as connective tissue matures it has more stable cross links, generally older animals are tougher.
- Breed has little effect on tenderness
- Cattle form breeds in hot climates are tougher than those from European breeds
- Juiciness is related to water holding capacity and marbling of fat which stimulates saliva flow once liquefied.
- Flavour is generated during cooking from water soluble components naturally present in meat as fat. Diet can effect flavour, grass fed animals produce a fat with a yellow tinge whilst grain fed produce a white fat.
- Flavour can also be affected by the meat pH, meat should always be slightly acidic.
Next month we will issue more key information on the following subjects:
- Handling, Transport & Marketing
- Abattoir and processing factors
This year’s Wrexham Christmas calf is awarded to Mr Darlington who collected a rosette and trophy which was awarded by Dale Buckingham.
The calf was chosen on its outstanding confirmation and weight for age.
If you are interested in supplying Buitelaar with calves in the New Year please feel free to contact Dale with any questions you may have. Please note this is not exclusive to Wrexham as we have collection centres in Frome, Somerset and Garstang, Lancashire.
Merry Christmas to all!
Working with all areas of the supply chain means beef farmer Gary Allis is able to produce a profitable, consistent and highly valued beef product.
He is finishing more than 1,300 Holstein bulls for Adam Buitelaar every year.
He now sources 60 dairy calves aged over 21 days every two weeks, mainly from Buitelaar collection centres. On average he pays £100 a calf and is taking them to 232kg carcass weights at just over 12 months old.
All animals are sold on a forward contract, which provides Gary with stability as he knows at the point of buying calves exactly what he is going to get for them at the end.
“Having a level price gives me the confidence to grow the business,” says Gary.
The secrets to his success as a profitable calf rearer and finisher are feeding a high-energy, low-cost diet, having low-cost housing and his attention to detail when it comes to feeding, management and health.
Exciting news ‘Buitelaar Select Sirloin’ has won a Gold Award in EBLEX’s “England’s Best Sirloin Steak 2015” competition.
“I am delighted to announce that not only has your entry ‘Buitelaar Select Sirloin’ achieved a Gold Award, but it is one of the top three highest scoring steaks in the ‘Multiple Retailer/Supplier’ category. Many congratulations! This was an extremely tough competition with a high number of entries and you have done extremely well to come out on top.”
Hugh Judd – EBLEX Foodservice Project Manager
Buitelaar Production (UK) Dairy Beef Supply Conference: “The Future Is Black & White” was a huge success and enjoyed by all. The conference and was also featured in Dairy Farmer…
Winner Robert & Tom Statham being presented with their award by Managing director Adam Buitelaar, Clare Buitelaar and Terry Coupe.
Winner Sam Webster being presented with his award by Clare, Adam and Terry.
OSI -Young dairy bulls- from birth to burger: Cliff Jarman, Supplier Development Manager, for OSI Food Solutions UK. Future of dairy bull beef in the McDonalds food chain.
Morrisons- more than just a supermarket: Joe Mannion, Head of Livestock Procurement / External Meat Sales. Product fit and supply chain efficiencies within a vertically integrated retail operation.
Giving the young calf the best start: Herbert Bouwer.
Herbert Bouwer is a director of Apurlu Breeding, and is the chief calf nutrition and management consultant to the VanDrie Group, overseeing the rearing of over 1 million calves per annum.
Design for Health: Jamie Robertson. Honorary Research Fellow, Aberdeen University.
Jamie Robertson is Honorary Research Fellow with the School of Biological Science at the University of Aberdeen. Previously he worked with SAC at the Centre for Rural Buildings for many years; with particular interest in the influence of the environment on animal health. He has carried out research on respiratory disease and air quality in pigs, poultry, cattle and stock people.
EBLEX -Managing the dairy bull- dark meat and meat quality: Management issues relating to dark meat and meat quality in the dairy bull.
Kim Matthews, Head of R&D, EBLEX
Kim graduated in Agriculture/Animal Science from the University of Reading and currently has responsibility for the R&D programme covering all aspects of production from breeding to meat quality. He retains specific responsibility for management of research on carcase and meat quality and contributes to the knowledge transfer activities of EBLEX and BPEX to the slaughtering sector.
Achieving target performance in black and white bulls: Key factors and best practice in achieving optimum carcase weights.
Simon Marsh, BSc (Hons), Principal Lecturer – Beef Cattle Specialist, Harper Adams University
Simon has had the post of Senior Lecturer – Beef Cattle Specialist at Harper Adams University since 1999, with responsibility for all beef production teaching as well as research on the University’s 130 head bull beef unit and Harper Adams Beef Focus Farms, and has presented over 60 scientific papers at numerous conferences including: The British Society of Animal Science, British Cattle Breeders, British Cattle Veterinary Association and Maize Growers Association.
Dairy bulls- a finisher’s perspective: Gary Allis, Furzehill Farm, Lincolnshire
Ten years ago Furzehill Farm was run as a 650 acre arable farm, with 25 barley beef cattle housed in traditional red-brick buildings in the yard. The livestock enterprise has now expanded to over 1,000 head of black and white bulls.
Morrisons – The Future is black & white, with shades of grey: Potential of dairy beef and industry challenges.
David Evans, Head of Agriculture, Morrisons Supermarkets Plc.
Prior to taking the position of Head of Agriculture for Morrisons, David had extensive experience developing large scale integrated dairy beef operations in the Asia-Pacific, Ukraine and Turkey. David’s global perspective of dairy beef has been integral in the development of Morrisons dairy beef strategy.
Team Buitelaar completes Dublin’s Tough Mudder, October 2014.