A franchised beef supply chain initiative is set to build significant market share in the Midlands, Scotland and Ireland.

Centred on Somerset-based Southern Counties Fresh Foods, Blade Farming is a relatively new integrated production, processing and marketing group, supplying OSI International Foods and Romford Wholesale Meats.

In line with the post-Curry Commission findings and the creation of the Red Meat Industry Forum, it is intent on supplying consistent quality beef supplies and cutting out costs in the supply chain while offering primary producers forward contract security.

The franchise concept has been pushed out to Dawn Meats in Ireland and Highland Meats in Scotland and, following a trade open day in Oxfordshire, is being opened up to farmers in the Midlands.

So far, 25 farmers are producing around 10,000 cattle under the system in the south west, but Richard Phelps of SCTT predicts this will grow to 30,000 in two years.