Advantage Beef Programme Announces New Sustainable Calf-To-Beef Programme

ABP (Advantage Beef Programme) has launched a new beef-production scheme for farmers that will see the beef processor pay an additional 20c/kg ‘sustainability bonus’ to eligible beef farmers.

The new scheme, announced today (Friday, January 14), is called the Advantage Beef Programme and will focus on all aspects of sustainability, ABP has confirmed to Agriland.

The programme is open to beef, dairy and suckler farmers and will guaranteea sustainability bonus of 20c/kg for all animals reared to agreed protocols, the company has said.

The bonus will be paid in addition to any relevant quality assurance (QA) and breed bonuses, and all cattle in the scheme will be paid on the average quoted price (AQP) for steers and heifers of the seven ABP/Slaney plants on the week of slaughter on the grid.

The AQP for the scheme will not diverge by more than 5c/kg from the AQP for all of the listed plants in the country. The AQP will be the same for steers, heifers and young bulls under 16 months’.

A contractual agreement is available to participating farmers from ABP on bonuses, and a minimum base price for animals meeting the required specification.

Farmers will also be free to purchase feed from a supplier that suits them best.

From 2023, animals eligible for the scheme must also be bred to an approved minimum genetic merit standard.


The scheme is underpinned by leading genetic research undertaken in collaboration with the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) and Teagasc at ABP’s demonstration farm in Co. Carlow.

This research has focused on combining efficient on-farm practices, prescribed rearing protocols, and optimum sire selection for beef animals, and has also incorporated the principles of ABP’s ‘blade farming’ model.

Commenting, ABP Ireland’s managing director, Kevin Cahill, said: “We are delighted to launch this inclusive, integrated beef programmme, which will be open to beef, dairy and suckler farmers.

“Our focus is on delivering a model that will help farmers to improve their on-farm efficiencies while also delivering a more sustainable outcome.”

Animals participating in the programme are expected to be marketed at 18-28 months of age, depending on the farming system, with an average age of 24 months – some three months below the national average.

This will ensure a significant reduction of emissions per animal, resulting in a more carbon-efficient and lower cost-of-production model, overall. And, it will result in improved financial returns for beef farmers, the company said.

ABP’s research – supported by Teagasc and the ICBF – has involved more than 4,000 animals since 2014 and has demonstrated that, with a data-driven select breeding approach, significant methane emission reductions are achievable.

Significantly, it also found that returns to farmers could increase by up to €200 per animal.

Similar research has been undertaken by ABP in the UK in collaboration with Harper Adams University.

Stay tuned to Agrilandfor further updates on the Advantage Beef Programme.

(Source – Agriland – Breifne O Brien – 14/01/2022)

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