Bobby calves: The game changers within New Zealand’s supply chain.

Executive summary

There is significant potential for New Zealand to increase its ability to utilise more bobby calves therefore making them a more valued product. It is important that we have a sustainable, viable, ethical and PR friendly value chain. It is also important that NZ Inc. gets this right to maintain farmers/producers’ ‘social licence’ to farm and maintain our positive worldwide perception.
While difficult to calculate, it is estimated that more than $1 billion is on offer, if we can capture the full value of underutilised bobby calves.
It is acknowledged that famers all operate different policies with different values, so it is near impossible to make a recommendation that will suit all producers and fit with processors’ expectations and resources. There is a range of options which will lead to more prosperous returns for the farmers, processors and overall sector. However, more leadership is needed to make these changes at all points of the industry supply chain.
Key recommendations:

  • Increased use of beef genetics across dairy herds
  • Increased use of sexed semen across dairy herds
  • An integrated dairy beef “profit partnership” supply chain model, where everyonecaptures the value of the end product
  • Uptake of a tool which measures beef performance through the supply chain toallow a feedback loop
  • Increased farmer education on what options are available

Dairy farmers are at the start of the value chain, so it is critical that those options are easy for them and do not affect their primary objective, which is producing milk at the highest margin possible.
In implementing any of the above options, it is expected that sacrifices would have to be made and some options do not benefit everyone in the supply chain.

Bobby Calves: The game changers within New Zealand’s supply chain – Andrew Jolly

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