Cogeca President visits Twenty20

Cogeca President visits Twenty20 Beef Club farm

20 April 2022
General News

The President of an EU cooperative group which represents the interests of over 22 million farmers has visited a Glanbia Ireland Twenty20 Beef Club member farm to see the award-winning, sustainable and value-adding programme in action.

Ramon Armengol, President of Brussels-based Cogeca, visited Dara Walton’s family farm in Kilkenny in recent days to see first-hand how the dairy calf to beef programme works.

The fully integrated calf to beef programme between Glanbia Ireland, Kepak Group and their respective farmer suppliers improves the economic, environmental and social sustainability of calf to beef systems.

The Twenty20 Beef Club won a Cogeca European Award for Cooperative Innovation in July of 2021 under the ‘Economic Value Creation’ category. The award will be presented at a ceremony in Brussels later this month.

“The Twenty20 Beef club is an excellent opportunity for the farmers, for the Co-operative, for the consumer and for sustainability,” Mr Armengol said on the Walton family farm in Callan.

“It’s an excellent, deserved award for Glanbia Co-operative.  I really enjoyed my visit to the Glanbia farm and it is excellent to see the great farmers of Europe in action,” Mr Armengol added.

Mr Armengol was impressed with the data from 2021 processing, particularly the sustainability credentials exhibited, according to Glanbia Ireland’s Head of Beef, Martin Ryan.

Over the past six months, Twenty20 Beef Club members have benefitted from a Club Premium of €0.25/Kg on top of the Average Quoted Price (AQP) in the market on all cattle that met the Club’s specification. This payment is in addition to other bonuses, such as breed, protocol/quality and a seasonality bonus and is paid irrespective of the level of the AQP. The Club has also added a €0.10/Kg bonus on cull cows. 

“A key achievement noted was the reduction in slaughter age, relative to the National average for similar cattle. The average age at slaughter was 23.7 months and 21.8 months for steers and heifers respectively and this alone would significantly reduce the carbon footprint of Twenty20 beef,” Mr Ryan explained.

Farmer and Twenty20 Beef Club member, Dara Walton, hosted the visit and has been rearing cattle for the scheme since last year. “Twenty20 is a good programme, a good initiative. The Procurement Officer comes in and picks the cattle so we’re not over-feeding them and it’s not costing us money. Our cattle are going off when they’re fit. When you hit the specs you’re getting the bonus as well, which is a big help. It’s worth a lot on a heavy carcass.

“Ross Brady, the Twenty20 Programme Manager, and the Kepak team are always available at the end of the phone if we need advice on diets or anything,” the Callan-based club member said.


Benefits of club membership

The Twenty20 Beef Club was developed by Glanbia Ireland and Kepak to improve the economic, environmental and social sustainability of calf to beef systems. Under a predictable-pricing model calves from Glanbia Ireland suppliers’ dairy herds are reared and finished on dairy or beef farms and processed in a Kepak facility.

The benefits for farmers signed up to the Twenty20 Beef Club are numerous and include a substantial price premium for the cattle, predictability of pricing and certainty around their market. Members are offered technical support to help them produce or procure animals with higher genetic merit and achieve optimum daily live weight gain during the animal’s life.

To-date the animals processed by the Club are up to four and a half months younger than the National average for similar livestock, significantly reducing their carbon footprint.