Fram Farmers’ Pig Group is perhaps the ultimate example of Farmer Co-operation. Over the years it has helped Farm Businesses avoid the high input costs which many other producers incurred. Biannually it secures a 2 year raw material plus contract with a feed manufacturer and then waits until it feels the time is right to lock in the raw materials. It employs its own nutritionist and was the driving force behind the Fram Farmers’ Veterinary and Medicine department.
The Pig Group, formed over 18 years ago, maintains its focus on wanting Independent advice, controlling their costs, maximising margins, and being certain of exactly what goes into their rations. They have been able to draw on, and contribute to, the vast pool of industry knowledge which exists within the co-operative.
Co-ordinated by Gary Pleasance who is based at the Fram Farmers office, the Group decided to Pool purchase its main commodities using the skills of Tim Styles (Purchasing & Grain Marketing Manager of Fram Farmers) to manage the Straights book. This has allowed members to benefit from industry knowledge making the buying decisions, leaving them to concentrate on Pig Production.
The Feed Group represents producers managing in excess of 15,000 sows. The membership includes some of the more forward thinking pig producers in East Anglia.
The majority of the Pig Group’s Members are out door units and are situated on the light land in Suffolk and Norfolk.
The Pig Feed Group has a huge economic advantage over any individual producer when it comes to buying feed, so they can buy better and that helps them to remain independent.
Pig Medicines Group
In addition to Feed, many of the farmers felt if they pooled their veterinary medicines requirements together, they would also be able to improve their buying power and consequently another of their high value inputs – Pig Veterinary Medicines. As a result, the Pig Meds Group formed too.
This group includes the majority of the Feed Group, but has within the last few years extended its reach far beyond East Anglia, now including; Derbyshire, Devon and Cornwall too.
Co-ordinated by Jessica Frost (Animal Health and Livestock Specialist), the entire Group’s estimated annual Pig Meds requirements are collated and put out to tender annually.
This agreement saves our farmers in the Pigs Meds Group significant amounts of money on their inputs every year, sometimes even thousands of pounds, therefore also improving profitability.