beef supplier Blade Farming is rolling out a new system for sourcing dairy calves in a bid to help dairy farmers reduce on-farm costs and improve profits.

Previously, Blade relied on a third-party processor to collect calves from dairy farmers around the country, for a fee, and take them to a collection centre.

But last week, Blade started trialling a new system to bring collection in-house. In addition to buying the calves, the Blade representative will advise farmers on how they can improve animals’ specification prior to offering them for sale and thereby increase the money they receive.

Under the new system, Blade would handle an additional 3,000 calves a year, which would go into veal and beef production, said MD Richard Phelps. “We decided to find a more strategic way of expanding the business and buying more calves,” he added.

The new system would also mean the calves were not transported around as much, he said.

Blade is piloting the system in Wiltshire, Gloucestershire and South Wales, and also plans to roll it out into the more northerly milk fields in Cheshire.