Saturday, 21 May 2011
Is The Grass Greener with Sainsbury's?
On Thursday the 19th May we hosted the Sainsbury's Lamb Steering Group Meeting at Overbury. The group started about a year ago and this was the first on-farm meeting which was a real pleasure to host. There were about 9 others farmers from all corners of the UK and even Northern Ireland, all farming different systems and producing lamb in different ways, all dedicated to supplying Sainsbury's. In addition there were people from Randall Parker Foods and Dunbia who are the processors for the producers lamb (We supply RPF- via the Mayhill Lamb Group). The day started with an update on JS lamb sales over the past year, then we moved onto an update of the Carbon Footprint assessment. This is the largest study ever conducted assessing the carbon involved with producing lamb. More about that another day. After that I did a presentation about Overbury Farms, what we do, how we do it and why. I talked about our crops, conservation, staff, machinery and then our sheep.
One of the interesting things learnt from the JS Dairy Group was the attention to detail of grassland management and how carbon emissions and therefore cost can be reduced by better grassland management. This conversation carried on over a working lunch before heading out to the field for a tractor and trailer ride around the farm. We looked at 8 fields in total, starting with a hay field, then a silage fields then various permanent pasture fields ending up on the top of Bredon Hill, where Alice and Annie had their photograph taken as shown here!
It was a really good meeting, I felt that a lot had been achieved and there was plenty of conversation within the group. There is a definite opportunity to explore the grassland management here at Overbury, starting this summer with some over-seeding in a couple of fields.
Following the meeting we did a short bit of filming for the JS website all about the Carbon Footprinting and how we are benefiting by working together. That should be on the website under the Coorporate Responsibility tab on the 7th June.