Mole Valley Farmers makes key organic poultry feed supplier list

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

MVF Uffculme feed mill in Devon © Mole Valley Farmers
MVF Uffculme feed mill in Devon © Mole Valley Farmers

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Mole Valley Farmers' acquisition of ABN's Devon mill and its conversion into an organic operation is paying off.

Egg packer, Stonegate, has added the UK feed maker to its list of authorized feed manufacturers for organic poultry feed.

In doing so, Mole Valley Farmers (MVF) joins Wynnstay Agricultural Supplies, ForFarmers and HJ Lea Oaks in supplying feed to Stonegate’s organic egg producers.

"As our bird nutrition requires the very highest standards of welfare and output, any new supplier of organic feed to the business needs to meet very stringent criteria. Mole Valley Farmers have impressed us at every stage of the evaluation." - Jim Turner, head of new producer recruitment, Stonegate.

MVF took over the workforce and the operations of the Uffculme mill in the southwest of England from ABN in August 2023 and subsequently developed the site into a dedicated organic feed mill. The 100,000 ton capacity mill had been manufacturing both ABN organic and conventional poultry feeds since 2013.

The move by MVF to operate the plant as a 100% organic feed mill was aimed at enabling the farmer-owned business to better service its organic customers, whilst driving greater efficiencies and cost savings across its supply chain, it said.

“The number of organic feed manufacturers in the southwest has reduced in recent years, but as a business, we remain firmly committed to the organic sector,” said MVF CEO, Jack Cordery, at the time.

Bringing Uffculme into its portfolio also allowed it to move organic production out of its Huntworth mill in Somerset, into a dedicated facility, which MVP said would drive significant efficiencies through Huntworth, promoting better use of energy and tighter cost control, whilst removing the complexities of running a single mill producing conventional and organic rations.

Transfering organic production from that site to the Uffculme operation would also facilitate greater manufacturing capacity for conventional bulk feed and MVF’s bagged products at Huntworth, said the producer.

Stonegate introduced an industry first, avian influenza (AI) insurance policy last August; that scheme, developed in conjunction with NFU Mutual, is designed to protect both free-range and organic farmers whose businesses are interrupted by AI for six months.

In addition, in January this year, the egg giant launched a pullet finance facility, which has been designed for better farm cash flow performance at the beginning of the flock. The initial three-month period of birds coming into peak lay can weigh heavy on cashflows.

As well as this facility, MVF operates feed mills in Lifton, Huntworth, Dorchester and Coylton, which are strategically located to service the main livestock producing areas of the UK. It also has two feed blending facilities at Risdon and Heals.

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